Tech giant Intel today unveiled a $15.3 billion proposal to acquire Mobileye, an Israel-based firm whose driver-assistance technology is already used in millions of vehicles. The two companies, along with BMW Group, have been partners since last year in a joint project to begin producing self-driving cars by 2021.
Founded in 1999, Mobileye develops software and EyeQ computer chips that use machine vision and artificial intelligence for vehicle-based advanced driver assist systems. The company already works with more than two dozen automaker partners around the world.
By adding Mobileye’s technology and workforce to its own organization, Intel said it aims to speed up innovation and position itself as a leader in the fast-developing market for autonomous cars. That market, including systems, data and services, could be worth as much as $70 billion by 2030, according to Intel.
Building on Mobileye’s Momentum
If approved by regulators, Intel’s acquisition of Mobileye is expected to close sometime later this year. The new organization created by the combination of Mobileye and Intel’s Automated Driving Group would be based in Israel and led by Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO.
Shashua is also chairman of the computer science department at Hebrew University, where the Mobileye technology was developed. Mobileye went public in 2014 in the largest-ever Israeli initial public offering. The proposed Intel deal is also reportedly the Israeli tech industry’s highest-value acquisition to date.
“We are always happy to see technology started at Hebrew University become such a huge success,” said Yaacov Michlin, CEO of Yissum, which is the technology transfer company of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. “This is a record deal not only for Yissum and Mobileye, but for Israel.”
Under the deal, Intel will provide the foundational technologies for autonomous driving, including plotting the car?EU?s path and making real-time driving decision, while Mobileye…