Intel Joins the Driverless Car Race

US chipmaker Intel has joined the race for a driverless future in its takeover of automated-driving technology firm, Mobileye.

The organisation announced on Monday that they had agreed to acquire Jerusalem-based Mobileye for £15.3bn (£12.5bn), in the largest technology takeover in Israel’s history.

Mobileye accounts for 70% of the global market for driver-assistance and anti-collision software, developing vision-based tools to provide warnings before collisions.

“Mobileye brings the industry’s best automotive-grade computer vision and strong momentum with automakers and suppliers,” Intel Chief Executive Brain Krzanich said in a statement.

He claimed that combining this technology with Intel’s processors would merge the “eyes of the autonomous car with the intelligent brain that actually drives the car.”

“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 expects that the takeover will accelerate innovation for the automotive industry, and position Intel as a “leading technology provider” in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.

It estimates that this market opportunity will be worth up to $70bn (£57.3bn) by 2030.

It has also identified a potential for data-mining in the shift towards driverless technology, suggesting that automated cars will generate 4 terabytes of data every day by 2020.

Intel is following in the footsteps of a number of high-profile organisations that are jumping into the driverless market.

Google was the first company to put the cars on the road, first entering the field in 2009.

Earlier this month, Nissan test drove a converted model of the electric-powered LEAF, which it hopes to make available by 2020.

Technology giant Apple also confirmed for the first time in December that they are actively developing self-driving technology.

Last time Intel tried to move out of its core market with a foray into the smartphone industry, it did so with little success.

In May 2016, it was forced to cut its losses with the smartphone chip industry, after failing to compete with the likes of Qualcomm, Apple, and Samsung.

However, the driverless car market may present much more fertile ground. Whilst Google have stolen an early march, the market is at such an early stage of development that Intel have an opportunity to become a key player in what may prove to be the most transformative markets of the decade.



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