The autonomous vehicle (AV) ecosystem felt quite the ripple when news broke March 13 that Intel was buying Mobileye, an Israel-based autonomous vehicle parts startup. The two companies had been working together beginning in July 2016, but confirmed that Intel will acquire the Mobileye for nearly $15 billion, or $63.54 per share.
Mobileye currently creates computer vision software that has been installed in several current vehicles on the market assisting with lane correction and parking assistance capabilities. The company’s Shield+ systems have been installed in buses that recognize and avoid collisions with pedestrians.
Combined with Intel's computer processing power, the two could serve as a major player in the future of AVs. According to a joint press release (PDF), the AV market is expected to be worth nearly $70 billion in less than 15 years.
“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,” said Intel CEO Brian Krzanich. “Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”
Intel’s automated driving group will combine with Mobileye to combine resources and further the self-driving technology. Both companies will continue to build upon relationships with original automotive equipment managers and semiconductor partners to develop driving assistance, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs.
This move is the next step in the arms race for AVs. Last month, Ford bought Argo AI for $1 billion in order to work on their self-driving vehicle unit. Mobileye supplied parts to Tesla for its driving assistance mode, Autopilot. The companies ended their partnership when Tesla began developing a video-processing system of its own.