When it comes to self-driving cars it’s fair to say that Intel is keeping its foot firmly on the accelerator, with the news that it has agreed to pay a huge sum of money to acquire an Israeli tech company that specialises in developing vision-based technology for autonomous vehicles.
In January Sync NI revealed that Intel was partnering with Mobileye (as well as BMW) in a bid to get 40 self-driving test vehicles onto the roads by the second half of this year. Now Intel has gone way beyond a simple business partnership, and has agreed to acquire Mobileye outright for $15.3 billion.
The deal is not expected to close for another nine months, but when it does it will see Israel become Intel’s global hub for the development of self-driving cars.
Founded in Jerusalem in 1999, Mobileye develops vision-based Advanced Driver Assistance Systems that are central to navigation and collision prevention in autonomous cars.
As demand for PCs continues to wane Intel has begun focusing on making chips for IoT devices and self-driving cars. Despite its ongoing partnership with Mobileye, as well as a commitment to invest $250 million in the development of its own self-driving car technologies (which we covered backed in November), Intel has lagged behind a number of other tech firms, including Tesla and WayMo, in the autonomous vehicle market.
According to Intel’s own market forecasts the vehicle systems, data and services market for self-driving cars will be worth up to $70 billion a year by 2030. Needless to say Intel wants a slice of that very big pie...and this Mobileye acquisition could help the global tech firm get exactly that.