If you have any lingering doubt about whether or not autonomous vehicles are going to become a big part of our future, consider this: Intel just shelled out an impressive $15 billion to acquire a company to help it break into the autonomous market in a big way.
That company is, as the title suggests, Mobileye. The company was founded in Israel back in 1999, and with this deal valued at $15.3 billion, it’s said to be the biggest acquisition the Israeli economy has ever seen. The deal represents shares valued at $63.54 a pop.
Even if you’ve never heard of Mobileye, you’ve probably heard of products that make use of its technology. Tesla’s Model S, for example, uses Mobileye to power its autopilot mode. And just a couple of months ago, it was announced that Intel and BMW were teaming up with Mobileye to begin testing the autonomous waters in the second-half of this year.
Despite the potential, $15 billion might seem like a very hefty fee, but Intel believes the acquisition is important for the progression of fully autonomous vehicles. The company estimates that this market will be valued at $70 billion by 2030, and if that’s the case, and the company ends up owning a good share of the market, this initial investment could end up looking brilliant.
It is interesting to note the fact that Intel decided to outright acquire a company to get an immediate footing in the autonomous market. In some cases, it just makes more sense to do that than to do it on your own. Other companies involved in this area have experienced mixed success, so buying your way into the market might not just be easier, it could wind up being a lot smarter, too.