MobilEye Is Intel’s Latest Self-Driving Car Buy, Gamble

In the News
March 14, 2017

Intel Corp. yesterday announced that it would buy machine vision company MobilEye NV for $15.3 billion.

MobilEye reportedly has 70 percent of the market for driver-assist and collision-avoidance systems. The companies said they expect the deal to close within the next nine months.

“This acquisition essentially merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, referring to MobilEye and Intel’s technologies, respectively.

Santa Clara, Calif.-based Intel will be moving its autonomous driving division to Israel. This is the biggest self-driving software acquisition to date and the largest technology acquisition in Israeli history, reported Reuters.

MobilEye Technologies Ltd. was founded in 1999 and has offices in Jerusalem and New York. Amnon Shashua, co-founder, chairman, and chief technology officer of MobilEye, will lead the combined Automated Driving Group.

Business Takeaways:

  • Intel has continued its autonomous vehicle acquisition spree with the $15 billion purchase of MobilEye. The chipmaker has been working to stay ahead of rivals that see self-driving cars and robotics as new markets.
  • Intel will combine its processor prowess with MobileEye’s collision-avoidance technology, but some industry critics said the Israeli company was overvalued.
  • The partnerships and purchases of Intel will be tested, as tech providers and automakers race toward fully self-driving cars and promise improved road safety.

Merger with an eye on the market

Having missed the mobile phone market for processors, Intel is determined to participate in the self-driving car market, noted The Motley Fool and other analysts.

The chip maker said it expects the market for autonomous vehicle technology to reach $70 billion by 2030. By contrast, Bain & Co. predicted that the market will be worth $25 billion by 2025, and Goldman Sachs said it would be $96 billion in 2025.

Intel also predicted that by 2020, autonomous vehicles will generate 4TB of data per day. Intel’s graphics processors and vision-based sensors will work with MobilEye’s proprietary algorithms for guidance and accident avoidance.

“This acquisition will combine the best-in-class technologies from both companies, spanning connectivity, computer vision, data center, sensor fusion, high-performance computing, localization and mapping, machine learning, and artificial intelligence,” said Intel.

Intel has already worked with MobilEye and BMW, with ambitions to launch the iNext autonomous vehicle by...

Continue Reading