Technology

Intel to Buy Driverless Tech Company Mobileye for $15.3 Billion

Intel to Buy Driverless Tech Company Mobileye for $15.3 Billion”

Intel on Monday announced plans to increase its role in the self-driving auto market, acquiring Israel-based Mobileye for $15.4 billion.

Intel is separately working on another partnership with Mobileye and Delphi centered on self-driving technology, with the goal of delivering a fully functioning system by 2019. The price represents a premium of around 33 percent to the Friday closing price of Mobileye's shares.

Mobileye and Intel are no strangers.

The fact that Mobileye was purchased by Intel, rather than an OEM or Tier 1 supplier, should be a good thing, according to Ben Volkow, CEO of Otonomo (another Israeli automotive tech company).

Intel's deal with the company includes Intel acquiring all the shares of Mobileye at $63.54 per share in cash.

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At this price, it would make the deal the largest ever acquisition of an Israeli high-tech firm, as well as the largest ever in the field of autonomous driving. Intel and MobilEye have already been working together on BMW's iNext autonomous driving platform which the German vehicle manufacturer wants to put into service in less than five years.

Intel estimates the value of opportunities in the autonomous vehicle market to reach $70 billion by 2030.

"The addition of Mobileye to our family provides the data path to our computing solutions becoming the intelligent set of eyes that will allow a vehicle to see and define the world around it", said Brian Krzanich, Intel's chief executive, in a letter to employees.

Shashua is also chairman of the computer science department at Hebrew University, where the Mobileye technology was developed. The two companies also will combine highly detailed mapping efforts.

From a technology standpoint, Mobileye's offerings help vehicles see what's going on, while Intel chips will help process the increasingly computationally intensive operations that follow.

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Mobileye was cofounded in 1999 by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram.

He called it "a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers", adding: "Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving".

Based on Intel stock's decline of almost 2% by midday in trading Monday, it appears investors are less than enamored with its deal for Mobileye.

"The saying "What's under the hood" will increasingly refer to computing, not horsepower", said Krzanich.

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