Intel Drives Roadmap For Connected Cars With $15.3 Billion Mobileye Acquisition

Intel on Monday announced it will acquire Mobileye in a $15.3 billion acquisition, deepening the chip manufacturer's capabilities around connected cars.

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said Mobileye, which manufactures chip-based camera systems for automated systems in connected cars, will help Intel accelerate its efforts around computer vision, localization and mapping, machine learning and artificial intelligence in the autonomous vehicle space.

"This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers," he said in a 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."

[Related: Intel Brings In Former ARM Exec Tom Lantzsch As 'Accelerant' For Internet of Things Group]

Israel-based Mobileye comes with a portfolio loaded with tools for advanced driver assistance systems, from surround vision, sensor fusion, mapping, and driving policy products for car OEMs like Honda, BMW, and Volvo.

The company's EyeQ chips, which pack cars with the intelligence to identify and read traffic signs and detect roadway markings like lanes and roadway debris, were installed in as many as 16 million vehicles in 2016. Intel and Mobileye have worked together in the past – the two partnered along with BMW to test self-driving cars in July.

For Intel, Mobileye's solutions will translate to an accelerated pace of autonomous innovation and market adoption, industry-leading artificial intelligence for complex decision making, and incremental recurring revenue stream opportunities.

As part of its overall efforts to push deeper into the cloud, data center and IoT markets, Intel has been deepening investments around automated vehicle systems, which it estimated will have a market opportunity of up to $70 billion by 2030. At CES, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based company unveiled the Go Automotive 5G Platform, the industry's first 5G-ready test platform for the automotive industry. This platform will enable automakers to develop and test a wide range of use cases and applications around 5G.

In November, Intel also lifted the curtain on its new Automated Driving Group, which the company said will research and develop innovative next-generation autonomous driving solutions and driver-assist connected systems.

Intel said it expects the $63.54 per share cash deal, which is the company's biggest purchase focused on the autonomous driving sector, to close in the next nine months.

"I believe that today’s announcement puts us in the driver’s seat to achieve our vision of creating the technology foundation on which the future of autonomous driving will be built," Krzanich said in an email to employees.

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