On March 13th, Intel announced that the company had paid $15.3 billion to acquire Mobileye, an Israeli-based firm which specializes in developing autonomous-car technology. In a field where names like Google Car, BMW, and Tesla are household names, Mobileye is relatively unknown, but its trademark software, EyeQ is used to enable lane-departure and proximity warnings, two technologies essential for ADAS software.
Intel has made a smart move by combining forces with Mobileye. Intel’s computing capabilities combined with Mobileye’s data and technology will allow the company to rapidly develop and expand its initiatives in automotive ADAS technology.
$15.3 billion is not an overly large amount of money for an acquisition in the tech world, but industry analysts believe that Intel may have overpaid for the firm. But the acquisition means that Intel will now have access to Mobileye’s proprietary data, including its vast raw data and mapping technology. Right now, Mobileye enjoys a partnership with over 25 automakers to install its EyeQ software in their vehicles. The deal means that Intel will now be able to work one-on-one with these automakers.
Intel has already faced several missed opportunities. Intel’s core business was built on the sale of PCs, but over the past few years, that industry has remained stagnant. Intel also fears another missed opportunity – like with the smartphone and tablet industry.
Two years ago, Intel acquired FPGA-maker, Altera, in another deal worth $16.7 billion. Technology from both firms – Altera and Mobileye – will allow Intel to be a dominating player in the automotive ADAS industry. Altera’s FPGA will power the computing ability, and Mobileye will provide the ADAS and mapping technology.
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