Published: Tue, March 14, 2017
Electronics | By Lorenzo Hawkins

Intel Buying Israeli Self-Driving Car Technology company Mobileye for $15 Billion

Intel Buying Israeli Self-Driving Car Technology company Mobileye for $15 Billion

The buyout of Mobileye, one of our 50 Smartest Companies of 2016, is the second largest ever made by Intel.

As Intel's chip business continues to come under pressure due to falling PC sales, the company has been looking for growth elsewhere, from devices like wearables to connected homes and Internet of Things devices.

The combined autonomous driving unit would be based in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's co-founder and CTO. The vehicle systems, data services market is forecast to grow to about $70 billion by 2030, the company asserts.

Mobileye had also partnered with Tesla on autonomous technology before the collaboration ended unceremoniously a year ago. At the time, the companies said they would make a common technology platform available to other automakers. "Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers", said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. "Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car's path and making real-time driving decisions".

Intel today announced that it will be buying Mobileye for a total of $15.3 billion - $63.54 per share - which is around 33 percent more than what the stocks finished trading for on Friday.

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Acquiring Mobileye could launch Intel to the forefront of the autonomous vehicle technology industry.

Intel also spun out its cyber security division, formerly known as McAfee, last year in a deal valuing it at $4.2 billion including debt, about five years after having bought the anitvirus software maker for $7.7 billion. "If it had been an OEM, some other vehicle companies would have cut ties with Mobileye", Volkow told Ars.

In the past Mobileye has been risk averse, and stopped working with Tesla due to their technology being used in an allegedly unsafe manner by the company's Autopilot system.

The deal also seemed to be a recognition that Intel was not moving as quickly as competitors.

Its software and chips "perform detailed interpretations of the visual field in order to anticipate possible collisions with other vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists, animals, debris and other obstacles", states Mobileye. The company announced a partnership with Intel and BMW two months ago to put a small fleet of fully-autonomous test cars on the road.

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