BMW is considering the founding of an independent R&D center in Israel and investment opportunities smart car companies and technologies, sources told Israel-based Globes.

Sources inform “Globes” that a senior company delegation headed by a company VP is presently visiting Israel, and is examining the map of Israeli startups in the sector and the practical possibilities for establishing and R&D center.

BMW is currently working with Israeli company Mobileye in the development of a platform for the next generation of autonomous cars. Just last week, Mobileye was acquired by Intel.

BMW is likely to join a long series of auto manufacturers and tier-1 suppliers in the industry already operating R&D centers in Israel and offices to find investments in companies dealing in smart cars at some level. These include General Motors, which has hundreds of employees in its Herzliya R&D center. Volvo and Honda are operating an incubator for smart car startups, and share a center for finding investment opportunities with Hertz. Renault and Nissan are expected to announce soon the establishment of a smart car innovation center in Israel.

BMW has not responded to this report.