Intel is taking the plunge on self-driving technology with the $15.3-billion all cash purchase of automated driving solutions specialist Mobileye.
The companies today announced Intel will pay $63.54 a share for the Israeli company, known for its “computer vision expertise.”
The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, left, Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua and Klaus Fröhlich of BMW Group discuss a BMW prototype at the BMW Group news conference. The BMW Group, Intel, and Mobileye on Wednesday, Jan. 4, 2017, announced that a fleet of about 40 autonomous test vehicles will be tested on the roads by the second half of 2017. The event was a lead-in to the 2017 International Consumer Electronics Show. The event runs from Jan. 5 to Jan. 8, 2017, in Las Vegas. (CREDIT: Walden Kirsch/Intel Corporation)
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the acquisition “essentially merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car.”
“Many of you have asked why we think autonomous cars and vehicles are so important to Intel’s future,” Krzanich wrote in a letter to employees. “The answer is DATA. Our strategy is to make Intel the driving force of the data revolution across every technology and every industry. We are a DATA company. The businesses we focus on, and deliver solutions to, create, use and analyze massive amounts of data.”
The acquisition gives a leg up to Intel’s strategy of investing in data-intensive market opportunities, he said, adding that the purchase will increase Intel’s strength in computing and connectivity from the cloud, through the network, to the device.
Mobileye founders Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, in a letter to employees, described the acquisition as “unique,” adding that they will continue running the company just as they have in the past.
The uniqueness springs from the fact that Intel’s Automated Driving Group (ADG) will be integrated into Mobileye, rather than the other way around. That means the company is staying put in Israel.
“Intel’s automotive activity, which is concentrated in the ADG today, has a sizeable number of employees. The Group will form part of Mobileye and be headquartered in Israel. Within the ADG are resident skill sets that are largely complementary to ours,” Shashua and Aviram said.
“For example, the ADG team includes systems engineers, simulators, mapping ingestion infrastructure and cloud computing with data centers, vehicle build engineers, and access to a pool of software engineers that will become part of our team. Combining forces will help accelerate our plans and lower our execution risks. We aim to become the leading team in autonomous driving. We want to make an impact on the world and this acquisition will enable us to accomplish that.”
The transaction, which is subject to regulatory approvals, is expected to be finalized in late 2017.
Jennifer Cowan is the Managing Editor for SiteProNews.
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