Intel has announced the biggest technology takeover in Israel’s history with the $15.3 billion (£12.27bn) acquisition of driverless car specialist Mobileye.
As part of the deal Intel will be moving its autonomous driving division to Israel, which will be led by Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder and CTO.
“The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car,” said Intel.
Intel CEO Brian Krzanich described the deal as “a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers”, saying that the two companies will look to “accelerate the future of autonomous driving with improved performance in a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers”.
Mobileye technology currently covers a range of areas, including mapping, collision avoidance and lane departure monitoring. The company also has relationships with 27 car manufacturers, which was likely a key factor in Intel’s decision to go ahead with the acquisition.
“We expect the growth towards autonomous driving to be transformative,” added 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. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry.”
The face to lead the field when it comes to driverless and autonomous vehicles is well and truly underway, as technology companies and traditional car manufacturers alike continue to scale up their resources.
Uber, for example, started offering customers rides in driverless cars last year through a partnership with Volvo, although its testing efforts have recently hit a bump in the road after the company failed to comply with regulations in San Francisco.
Google has been working on autonomous technology for a while and recently created its own driverless car company called Waymo, shortly after Apple confirmed for the first time that it is also developing its own autonomous driving technology.
Londoners will also get the chance to see the technology in action, as Nissan plans to test its self-driving cars in the UK capital through on-road demonstrations.
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