Intel is making a $15 billion bet on the autonomous vehicle market with a deal to acquire Israel-based Mobileye, which has spent the last two decades developing software and silicon technologies for self-driving cars, including machine learning, data analytics and mapping.
Over the last two years, Intel styled itself like many other chip supplier as a growing force in self-driving cars.
On Monday's call, Amnon Shashua, a co-founder of Mobileye and its current CTO, said that his company would work with Intel to take advantage of the chip maker's capabilities in the data center, and through that relationship develop better middleware and software for the autonomous vehicle market. In announcing the deal, the company said that its processors will dovetail nicely with Mobileye's vision chips and 360-degree sensing technology in these "data centers on wheels". It cements an ongoing relationship between Intel and the Jerusalem-based Mobileye. Intel believes that this market will be worth as much as $70 billion by 2030.
Intel said: "The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel's high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye's leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the vehicle".
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"This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers", said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. With Intel's increasing interest in the autonomous driving space, it makes Mobileye a pretty good acquisition target.
Intel has announced its intention to acquire Mobileye, a driverless technology company that has been linked with BMW, and until a year ago, Tesla. "Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers". After teaming up with various companies, including auto makers, to develop and promote solutions for autonomous vehicles, it's now taking things to the next level by acquiring Mobileye. "Israel is becoming a global technology center not just in cyber but in the automotive sector as well". MobilEye insists that its technology is meant for driver assistance, not fully-autonomous vehicles.
Mobileye NV (NYSE:MBLY) was downgraded by stock analysts at Evercore ISI to an "outperform" rating in a research report issued on Monday.