Intel buys Mobileye to boost self-driving auto efforts

Intel buys Mobileye to boost self-driving auto efforts

Intel buys Mobileye to boost self-driving auto efforts

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says the historic $15 billion purchase of Israeli vehicle technology firm Mobileye by U.S. computer chip giant Intel is a source of national pride and exhibits "Israeli genius".

The technology that Intel and MobilEye are working on won't just be limited to BMW cars, though. Israel-based Mobileye is behind some of the technology that makes self-driving cars a real possibility and has been partnered with Intel for a few years now. That deal has come under scrutiny recently after Waymo LLC, the self-driving auto unit of Google parent Alphabet Inc., sued Uber, accusing the ride-hailing company of stealing trade secrets to jump-start its own autonomous vehicle program.

In the deal, Intel Corp. will pay $63.54 for each share of Mobileye N.V., a 34 percent premium to its Friday closing price.

Perhaps learning from those missteps, Intel's Mobileye deal is uniquely structured.

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According to the agreement, a subsidiary of Intel will offer to acquire all of the issued and outstanding ordinary shares of Mobileye. Intel believes that this market will be worth as much as $70 billion by 2030. "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", Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, said in a statement.

He called it "a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers", adding: "Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving".

Intel said: "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 auto".

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From a technology standpoint, Mobileye's offerings help vehicles see what's going on, while Intel chips will help process the increasingly computationally intensive operations that follow.

But on Monday the company made its most significant move yet, announcing that it would acquire Mobileye, a major supplier of computer vision chips and sensors, for $15.3 billion.

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