Porsche is intensifying its collaboration with Israeli technology company Tactile Mobility, unveiling a minority investment.

In addition to Porsche, Union Tech Ventures and existing investors are participating in the current investment round.

Tactile Mobility plans to use the funds primarily to strengthen its development as well as sales activities and promote the collaboration with other automotive manufacturers, mobility service providers as well as municipalities and road authorities in the US, Europe and Asia.

So-called tactile data simulates a sense of touch. In the process, an algorithm processes data provided by different physical sensors which are already available.

"Tactile Mobility's method helps us collect additional information about the condition of vehicles and roads that goes beyond the information that can be obtained with conventional sensor systems," said executive board member for Research and Development at Porsche, Michael Steiner.

An integration into series production cars is planned for the beginning of the next decade. Amongst other use cases, tactile data can further improve the assessment of the friction coefficient between tyres and the road surface while a vehicle is moving.

Additional potential for the use of the technology also lies in applications for the predictive servicing and optimisation of the battery management.

In a next development stage, Tactile Mobility's software can provide data on the vehicle's condition itself, for example engine and brake efficiency as well as fuel consumption. Consequently, it is possible to draw conclusions on different vehicle components' state of wear.

In the process, potential applications of tactile data and sensing go beyond individual vehicles as information is analysed in a back-end system. Based on this information, the software is able to determine road conditions and quickly identify a change in road surface conditions in order to prepare additional vehicles in the fleet network for such changes, for instance in the event of a slippery road surface.

"We are excited about the confidence Porsche has in tactile data and virtual sensor systems," added Tactile Mobility CEO, Amit Nisenbaum.

"This investment will cement our leadership in this growing segment. By equipping intelligent vehicles with the sense of 'touch' and the ability to analyse tactile data, we can contribute to further improve the driving experience and make it even safer."

Municipalities, as well as road authorities can also benefit from the technology by documenting individual properties of the road.

For instance, collected data could help in planning of road maintenance work or deployment of salting and snow removal services.