Late last year, Intel announced that it would be investing $250 million in self-driving cars over the next two years.
Announcing the deal, Intel said that as cars "progress from assisted driving to fully autonomous, they are increasingly becoming data centres on wheels". Nevertheless, as a chipmaker, the company's interest might not seem serious at first, but because a great amount of computing power is required in the production of autonomous vehicles, Intel's move to acquire Mobileye makes sense.
Intel's acquisition of Mobileye will mark a huge investment in self-driving cars for the chip company. The Israeli company now utilizes STM chips for the products it provides auto manufacturers with.
The deal is expected to close within nine months, according to Intel. Amid safety concerns about Tesla's Autopilot technology, the two companies engaged in public finger-pointing.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz also welcomed the deal.
VentureBeat has reached out to both Intel and Mobileye for confirmation, and will update here with additional details when we hear back.
Mobileye, based in Jerusalem, was founded in 1999 by Prof. (NASDAQ: TSLA) in 2018 with the release of Mobileye's EyeQ4 sensor system.
The market for autonomous vehicle technologies, data and services will be worth as much as 70 billion dlrs by 2030, Intel estimates.
Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, reacted to say, "Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car's path and making real-time driving decisions".
However, the transaction is unique in the sense that instead of Mobileye being integrated into Intel like a typical acquisition, "Intel's Automated Driving Group will be integrated into Mobileye", says Ziv Aviram, the company's cofounder, president and CEO, in a March 13 email to employees. Intel said it expects to leverage Mobileye's auto computer vision capabilities and ties to the auto industry to advance "cloud-to-car" platforms. It also strengthens Intel's position in the sector against rival chipmakers Nvidia and Qualcomm. The company's offerings are already inside several semi-autonomous vehicles, including Tesla cars.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone with Aviram to congratulate him, a statement from the premier's office said.
The announcement does not mean Intel will be developing its own self-driving vehicles but developing technologies and systems that can be used within other manufacturers' vehicles.