Intel Closes $15.3B Mobileye Acquisition, Touting Connected Car Business As A 'Huge Growth Opportunity'

Intel Tuesday said it has completed its $15.3 billion acquisition of Mobileye as the company deepens its investments in the connected car space.

Intel, which unveiled the acquisition in March, aims to leverage Mobileye's offerings to create an accelerated pace of autonomous innovation, industry-leading artificial intelligence for complex decision-making, and recurring revenue stream opportunities.

“With Mobileye, Intel emerges as a leader in creating the technology foundation that the automotive industry needs for an autonomous future,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich in a statement. “It’s an exciting engineering challenge and a huge growth opportunity for Intel. Even more exciting is the potential for autonomous cars to transform industries, improve society and save millions of lives.”

[Related: Intel Drives Roadmap For Connected Cars With $15.3 Billion Mobileye Acquisition]

Israel-based Mobileye, which manufactures chip-based camera systems for automated systems in connected cars, comes with a portfolio loaded with tools for advanced driver assistance systems, including surround vision, sensor fusion, mapping, and products for car companies such as 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 such as 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 with BMW to test self-driving cars in 2016.

As part of its overall efforts to push deeper into the cloud, data center and Internet of Things markets, Intel has been deepening investments in automated vehicle systems, which it estimates 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 next-generation autonomous driving offerings and driver-assist connected systems.

Intel said it will combine its Automated Driving Group operations with Mobileye – and the combined organization will lead Intel’s autonomous driving efforts and help to define and deliver cloud-to-car solutions for the automotive market segment.

Mobileye will remain based in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, who will serve as Intel senior vice president and Mobileye CEO and chief technology officer.

Intel system builder ASI sees the company's investment in the auto industry as potentially opening new use cases that could involve the channel. 

"We’ve been hearing Intel mention during various meetings or presentations about the opportunity they see for their technologies in the auto industry," said Kent Tibbils, vice president of marketing at ASI, Fremont, Calif. "I don’t think this translates directly to anything for computer resellers, but technologies could emerge that have uses in other applications where channel resellers are involved, so I guess we’ll just have to wait and see. Clearly at this pointm Intel mentioning anything about its investment in autos to the computer community is just to give high-level insight into what the company is doing."

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