Intel to buy autonomous auto tech company Mobileye

The overall goal, Intel said, would be to "create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car".

Intel so far has not been a significant player in the sector, although it has invested in at least half a dozen start-up companies developing different components for self-driving systems, from robotics to sensors. The Israeli company now utilizes STM chips for the products it provides auto manufacturers with.

Given that autonomous driving is expected to play a major role in our future it makes sense for Intel to pick up one of the companies that's doing so much work to make that future a reality. Intel has worked increasingly with Mobileye, announcing plans previous year to deploy 40 autonomous cars as part of trials with BMW. The company expects Mobileye's computer vision expertise to help its high performance computing, as well as, connectivity expertise to establish automated driving solutions to auto from cloud.

Israeli media reported that the deal was the largest ever cross-border acquisition for an Israeli tech firm.

Mobileye, whose speciality includes systems for accident avoidance, has concluded an agreement with Volkswagen on road data technology as well.

Mobileye was founded in 1999. It is an approach Intel has also used for virtual reality technology.

Intel is making a huge investment in autonomous driving.

In a call announcing the deal on Monday, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich told financial analysts that the two companies would function separately for nine months until regulators sign off on the acquisition.

The acquisition of Mobileye brings together the assets of Intel's Xeon processors, FPGAs, 3D XPoint memory, and 5G modems with the world leader in automotive computer vision.

"Intel is not looking to have their people come in and run Mobileye", said Ziv Aviram, Mobileye's other founder and chief executive, in a letter to employees.

In April of previous year, short-seller Citron Research issued a report on Mobileye valuing the stock at $11 a share, based on its view that commoditization had arrived in the autonomous driving sector and that competitor NVIDIA Corp.

Mobileye is a popular name when it comes to computer vision technology.

Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google's parent company Alphabet, praised Mobileye's cutting edge technology past year, even though Mobileye is competing with Google to produce the world's first driverless vehicle.

  • Jacqueline Ellis