Out-Law News 2 min. read

Intel looks to driverless cars market with $15.3bn deal to buy Mobileye

Computer processing giant Intel has outlined its intention to expand into the driverless cars market with the acquisition of Israeli technology business Mobileye.

Intel announced that it had agreed a $15.3 billion deal to buy Mobileye on Monday in an acquisition which will see Intel's automated driving division integrated into Mobileye.

Mobileye develops technology that helps advanced driver assistance systems to 'see'. Intel said the combination of Mobileye's technology and expertise with its business has the potential to "deliver driving solutions that will transform the automotive industry", including "advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs".

"This acquisition essentially merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car," Intel chief executive Brian Krzanich said. "The combination of Intel’s high performance computing and connectivity solutions with Mobileye’s best in class computer vision technology will put us in a position to accelerate innovation for car-makers and lead in delivering the technology foundation for highly and fully autonomous driving."

Krzanich said growth in driverless cars will spur the generation of mass volumes of data.

"Our strategy is to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution across every technology and every industry," he said. "At four terabytes of data per day, the average autonomous car will put out the data equivalent of approximately 3,000 people. Put just one million autonomous vehicles on the road and you have the data equivalent of half the world’s population. This massive amount of data requires all of Intel’s assets to provide the cost-effective high-performance solutions our customers need. 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."

Ziv Aviram, co-founder, president and chief executive of Mobileye, said that the company expects to see "transformative" growth in the driverless cars market.

“[Autonomous driving] will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers," Aviram said. "By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centres and high-performance computing platforms. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry."

The deal is subject to approval from regulators and is expected to be closed "within the next nine months", Intel said.

Intel is not the first major technology company to look to move into the connected and driverless cars market. Google and Apple are both developing autonomous vehicles, while last November Samsung Electronics announced that it had agreed to buy in-vehicle technology supplier Harman International Industries in an $8 billion deal.

Car manufacturers have also taken steps to strengthen their propositions in the market. BMW, Daimler and Audi group together acquired Nokia's Nokia Here mapping unit, and BMW also has a joint venture with SGL Group which is aimed at enabling the car manufacturer to utilise carbon technologies in electric vehicles.

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