Intel Makes Big Play in the Autonomous Vehicle Game

Believe it or not, Intel isn’t just about computer processing chip technology. For several years now, Intel has had a division dedicated to developing technology associated with making driverless cars a mainstream reality, but they haven’t been a big enough player to make a big impact on the market. That all changed in mid-March, however, when Intel announced that they have agreed to purchase Mobileye – an Israeli based company that develops and manufactures leading camera and sensor technology for autonomous vehicles.

According to Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, “this acquisition essentially merges the intelligent eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car…I truly believe we are better together.”

It appears that Intel is betting on scale to help make Intel a winner in this game. Goldman Sachs has projected the market for driverless cars and driver assistance technologies to grown from about $3 billion in 2015 to as much as $96 billion in 2025. And although Chrysler and Volvo have partnered with Google and Uber, respectively to begin early trials of proprietary autonomous vehicle technology, Intel is confident that many carmakers won’t want to make the financial investment to develop their own autonomous vehicle technology. By combining their infrastructure and assets, Intel and Mobileye believe they will be able to provide the automotive industry with an attractive value proposition.

Even before this deal, Intel had secured partnership deals with BMW and Delphi Automotive. Now with Mobileye on board, Intel also gains access to Audi and other smaller automakers who have previously signed exclusive deals to use the Israeli company’s industry-leading camera technology in their cars. And Intel’s recent acquisition of a minority stake in Here, an automotive technology business owned by a consortium of German automakers that has committed to investing $250 million in driverless car technologies, is certain to help move the needle even faster than originally expected.

The way things are looking, pretty soon you won’t just have Intel inside your personal computer, but also under your hood.

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