US-based silicon chip manufacturer Intel is planning to buy Israeli autonomous car technology company Mobileye.
Israeli media originally reported that the acquisition would cost Intel between $14bn-$15bn, however Intel later today confirmed that they would pay a total of $15.3bn for the company at a price of $63.54 per share.
At this price, it would make the deal the largest ever acquisition of an Israeli high-tech firm, as well as the largest ever in the field of autonomous driving.
Mobileye was founded in 1999 and aimed to build computer vision technology designed for use in driverless cars. Over the past few years, it has produced a number of hardware and software products, most notably the EyeQ series of processing chips.
Already Mobileye has partnered with Intel on a project to build and test a number of driverless cars, however now it seems like this was just the beginning of their cooperation.
Intel was driven to buy the company due to it being a market leader in computer visions systems seen as critical for autonomous cars.
“Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers. Together, we can accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO.
Mobileye also praised the deal saying that by working together the two companies can create transformative future products.
“We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative. It will provide consumers with safer, more flexible, and less costly transportation options, and provide incremental business model opportunities for our automaker customers,” said Mr. Ziv Aviram, Mobileye co-founder, president, and CEO.
Intel aims to leverage Mobileye in order to grow to become an integral player in the hardware and software powering the transition to driverless cars, as part of its wider Internet of Things strategy.
In the past Mobileye has been risk averse, and stopped working with Tesla due to its technology being used in an allegedly unsafe manner by the company’s Autopilot system. It will be interesting to see if this will change as Intel looks to rapidly expand Mobileye’s presence in this market.