Multinational tech company Intel will acquire Mobileye, an Israeli self-driving car system developer, for $15.3bn (£12.6bn), or $63.54 per share in cash. The transaction, expected to close within nine months, is subject to regulatory approvals and closing conditions.
Intel has decided to take a big bet on autonomous vehicles because it estimates that ‘the vehicle systems, data and services market opportunity’ could yield up to $70bn by 2030.
“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 Ziv Aviram, Mobileye co-founder, president and CEO. “By pooling together our infrastructure and resources, we can enhance and accelerate our combined know-how in the areas of mapping, virtual driving, simulators, development tool chains, hardware, data centres and high performance computing platforms.”
Mobileye will continue to be based in Israel and will join up with Intel’s Automated Driving Group. The organisation will be led Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO Prof. Amnon Shashua, while Intel’s SVP Doug Davis will see the combined organisation’s engagement across its business groups and report to Shashua.
Mobileye began working with Intel last year, when plans were revealed that they were working on creating self-driving cars with BMW. In January, the trio confirmed they would bring a fleet of approximately 40 self-driving cars to the road by the second half of 2017.