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Intel to pay $15.3 billion for Mobileye

Image credit Mobileye

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said he believes the combined company can create a highly desirable "cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers". With Intel's increasing interest in the autonomous driving space, it makes Mobileye a pretty good acquisition target.

In a statement announcing its intent to purchase Mobileye, Intel said that the acquisition will merge "Intel's high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye's leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the auto". It's just another example of how companies view autonomous driving tech. In an email to this newspaper, he pointed out that Qualcomm's purchase of supplier NXP Semiconductors a year ago, a $47 billion deal, involved more than just self-driving technology.

Mobileye, whose speciality includes systems for accident avoidance, has concluded an agreement with Volkswagen on road data technology as well. Thus, if 1 million autonomous cars are on the road, the generated data each day is equivalent to "half the world's population".

Mobileye is a company that develops vision-based advanced driver assistance systems and driverless technology.

"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 to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the vehicle", says Intel in its announcement of the deal.

Shashua will will stay on board and lead Intel's newly formed autonomous driving division, which will be based in Israel. Tesla and Mobileye have been at odds ever since, shifting blame regarding what part of the driverless technology was most responsible for the accident. 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.

VentureBeat has reached out to both Intel and Mobileye for confirmation, and will update here with additional details when we hear back. Along with enabling autonomous and semi-autonomous driving, information collected by onboard computer systems sends data back to automakers to help improve the vehicle and self-driving technology.

So far, experiments using driverless auto technologies have had mixed results, with test cars "struggling" when approaching bridges and when dealing with complex road work and environmental challenges.

Still, the hefty price Intel is paying for one company could affect the prices of future deals in an already hot but still unproven market.