Published: Wed, March 15, 2017
World | By Tasha Manning

Intel to buy autonomous driving firm Mobileye for $15.3bn

Intel to buy autonomous driving firm Mobileye for $15.3bn

Intel has been trying in recent years to achieve a competitive edge in innovative fields, after losing the smartphone chip market to its major competitor, Qualcomm.

Intel earlier acquired companies such as Yogitech, Itseez, Movidius, Nervana and Altera and Arynga, to address the key challenges required for automated driving including performance (Cyclone, Atom, EyeQx), functional safety (Yogitech), artificial intelligence (Movidus, Nervana) and over-the-air updates (Arynga).

It's easy to say Mobileye signed the deal to cash in on its development efforts to date, but it goes beyond that.

Nevertheless, Intel's acquisition of Mobileye is mainly seen as further proof that the autonomous driving sector is advancing and expanding, and it will be interesting to see how things will pan out in the future. In the interim, it predicts driver-assistance and automated-driving technologies will continue to proliferate across all vehicle segments.

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Mobileye is a popular name when it comes to computer vision technology.

Mobileye has existing partnerships with Volkswagen Group and BMW Group in developing autonomous cars, which could put the heat on rival Nvidia, who is partnered with VW Group-owned Audi.

The joint organization will support both companies' existing production programs and build on relationships with automotive original equipment manufacturers, Tier-1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driving assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs. In the best case scenario, Mobileye hopes that EyeQ 5 will be ready for mass production around the same time. "Now, she (it) is buying Mobileye, now she (it) really putting a step into this industry and really trying to compete with companies like Google and Uber and the auto giants like General Motors, Ford and Volvo", Fisher added. As part of these attempts, Intel has begun to cooperate with Mobileye, one of the market pioneers, and knew how to exploit that fact in order to enter cooperative projects with many vehicle manufacturers. Ford Motor Co. bought computer vision and machine learning company SAIPS AC in August and Bayerische Motoren Werke AG invested in transit app Moovit in 2015. In 2016, Mobileye reported $358.2 million in total revenue, up 48.7% year-over-year. Formerly, the coalition was made up of two dominant players in their respective industries plus one smaller independent solution provider.

BMW announced in January it would deploy 40 self-driving vehicles for tests in the United States and Europe this year. Then in November, the two companies partnered with auto parts maker Delphi to create the Automated Driving Group, which will create a self-driving vehicle system that can be sold to automakers.

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