Intel jumpstarted the week with Monday's announcement that it was shelling out $15.3 billion to buy autonomous car technology firm Mobileye.
The deal, which is expected to close over the next nine months, provides a big boost for Intel in the autonomous car marketplace. The chipmaker said it would integrate its Automated Driving Group with Mobileye's assets, which include sensor chips, mapping and data analysis, into a combined company that will be headquartered in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, Mobileye's co-founder, chairman and CTO.
"This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers," said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, in a prepared statement. "Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car's path and making real-time driving decisions. Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers."
The combined company will make Intel Corp. (Nasdaq: INTC) a dominant force among the technologies that are needed to make driverless cars a reality for automakers and consumers. Intel predicted that by 2020, autonomous vehicles would generate 4,000GB of data per day, which plays well into its computing and connectivity strengths.
According to a story published today by Telecoms.com, Intel, Mobileye and BMW announced a partnership last year that will have a fleet of self-driving cars on urban roads and highways by 2021. The partnership is targeting 40 vehicles for testing on public roads, both in the US and Europe, later this year.
— Mike Robuck, editor, Telco Transformation