Intel thinks driverless systems are the future, so it's buying one of the leading sensor makers in the segment.

Intel is buying its autonomous technology partner Mobileye for roughly $15.3 billion as a way to improve the tech giant's offerings as an autonomous supplier. The deal still requires regulatory approval, but the companies expect to complete the transaction in the next nine months. 

Mobileye specializes in autonomous vehicle technology, including computer vision, machine learning, mapping, and data analysis. In its new role, the firm will become part of Intel’s Automated Driving Group, and they'll look for more opportunities to supply the equipment to automakers. The newly combined division will operate from Israel under the leadership of Mobileye’s Co-Founder Professor Amnon Shashua.

“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.” Intel CEO Brian Krzanich said in the announcement for the merger.

Intel's acquisition of Mobileye is supposed to expand the computing giant's role as an automotive supplier. The firm figures future autonomous vehicles could generate 4,000 gigabytes of data per day, and Intel's computing tech could have a place in that market. There's money to make, too. The company figures that vehicle systems, data, and services could be worth $70 billion by 2030.

Even before this announcement, Mobileye and Intel already had an established relationship. For example, the two firms partnered with BMW in 2016 for an undertaking to introduce a fully autonomous vehicle from the German automaker by 2021. At the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show, they showed a functioning prototype of the system. 

Mobileye also supplies its processors to Audi for the company's assistance systems. Tesla is among the firm's clients, too. 

Source: Intel and Mobileye via Business Insider

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