Intel to buy Mobileye in $15.3B deal

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Intel on Monday agreed to pay $15.3 billion to  Mobileye, a leading supplier of driver assistance and self-driving technology.

Mobileye’s claim to fame is its EyeQ technology which uses proprietary image recognition software to help self-driving cars see the world, and the company is already a supplier to over 20 automakers and automotive supply firms. Intel first got involved with Mobileye last summer when the two joined forces to help develop self-driving cars with BMW.

As self-driving technology evolves, it will grow to rely on various data that experts estimate will average as much as 4,000 GB per day as early as 2020. The data will come from highly-detailed 3D maps, vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-infrastructure (V2I) communication, and advanced monitoring systems. Powerful and reliable computers will process the incoming data and then through artificial intelligence make decisions to control the vehicle.

Thus, the latest deal will position Intel as a leader in the field by combining its data-crunching abilities with Mobileye’s sensor technology. In a statement, the combined companies said they will have proficiencies spanning connectivity, computer vision, data center, sensor fusion, high-performance computing, localization and mapping (via Mobileye's partnership with HERE), machine learning and artificial intelligence.

As part of the deal, Intel will move its own self-driving car team to Mobileye’s headquarters in Israel. The combined team will be led by Mobileye Chairman, CTO and founder Amnon Shashua.

Intel estimates the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity to be up to $70 billion by 2030. It’s why there are numerous rivals in this space including some automakers developing proprietary self-driving systems, as well as tech giants Uber, Nvidia, Alphabet, Apple (most likely), and a handful of smaller firms.

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