|Intel says its acquisition of Mobileye will allow it to create end-to-end solutions for autonomous vehicles that feature connectivity and data analytics. (Image source: Intel)|
If there were ever any doubts that Intel was serious about its efforts to become a major player in the autonomous car market, those doubts should be put to rest. Monday morning the chip giant announced it had reached a definitive agreement to purchase Mobileye N.V., an Israeli company that develops computer vision- and machine learning-based advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS). Through one of its subsidiaries, Intel will be commencing a tender offer to acquire Mobileye at an equity value of $15.3 billion.
In a press call about the acquisition, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said the move to acquire Mobileye is part of Intel's ambitions to become a global leader in autonomous driving. Krzanich said Intel believes that combining Intel's expertise in high-performance computing and connectivity with Mobileye's computer vision expertise will accelerate innovation in the self-driving vehicle space and deliver an affordable, complete single solution that customers have been asking for – a comprehensive, scalable, end-to-end solution that not only has hardware, but also connectivity and data analytics built into it. “[Acquiring Mobileye] really allows us to provide the complete solution down in those things and devices, which is in this case really autonomous vehicles in general, it can be cars, it could be trucks, but it can be other vehicles as well as autonomy continues to grow,” Krzanich said.
Amnon Shashua, CTO, co-founder, and chairman of Mobileye, told listeners on the call that Mobileye has recently been working to expand its range of product offerings beyond camera systems for vehicles, to also include mapping capabilities. “We have launched a new technology since about a year and a half ago on how to leverage existing driving assist portfolio in order to crowd source data for automatically building high-definition maps,” Shashua said. “We established a number of deals with the automakers and mapmakers to enable crowd sourcing of this kind of data starting from 2018...In addition to our core skill sets, Intel has assets in mapping and infrastructure, has assets in data centers, has assets in artificial intelligence and in machine learning, which complements our assets in that area, has assets in hardware, has assets in simulators.”
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Put it all together Shashua said, and you get an end-to-end solution for autonomous driving, from the car to the data center.
Intel is expecting the autonomous vehicle market to boom in the coming decades. The company is predicting that by 2020 autonmous vehicles will be generating 4000 GB of data per day. “These cars