Intel is set to acquire Mobileye, an Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm, for US$15.3 billion. Intel believes the acquisition will allow them to tap into a market that’s worth $70 billion by 2020.

Mobileye and Intel’s Automated Driving Group will be merged and headquartered in Israel. The combined group will be led by Professor Amnon Shashua, Mobileye’s co-founder, chairman and CTO.

The organisation will support both companies existing production programs and build on relationships with auto OEMs, Tier-1 suppliers and semiconductor partners to develop advanced driver assist, highly autonomous and fully autonomous driving programs.

The acquisition will position Intel as a leading technology provider in the autonomous vehicle market. The company estimates the market for vehicle systems, data and services to reach $70 billion by 2030.

“This acquisition is a great step forward for our shareholders, the automotive industry and consumers,” said Brian Krzanich, Intel CEO. “Intel provides critical foundational technologies for autonomous driving including plotting the car’s path and making real-time driving decisions. 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 n a cloud-to-car solution at a lower cost for automakers.”

Intel predicts cars will become data centres on wheels and that by 2020 autonomous vehicles will generate 4,000 GB of data per day. Intel’s strategy is to invest in data-intensive market opportunities that build on the company’s strengths in computing and connectivity from the cloud through the network, to the device.

“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 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 centers and high-performance computing platforms. Together, we will provide an attractive value proposition for the automotive industry.”

The transaction has been approved by both boards and is expected to close in the next nine months.

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