Intel is much more than a computer hardware company these days. In addition to drones, virtual reality and fitness tracking, one future-flavored pie that the firm is sticking its fingers into is driverless vehicle technology. Today it may have just gone ahead and plunged a whole fist in, with a US$15 billion acquisition of Israeli company Mobileye.
Mobileye is a driverless technology company that develops computer vision, machine learning and mapping for autonomous systems. It has made a bit of a name for itself in these circles, teaming up with the likes of VW, BMW and Intel itself in the past on driverless car projects. In fact Mobileye's systems are integrated into 237 unique car models and its chips into more than 3.3 million cars.
Intel is well aware of the driverless car trend, and sees Mobileye's expertise dovetailing well with its own computing clout. It imagines a future where automobiles are less cars and more fully autonomous data centers hurtling down the freeway. So much so, that it anticipates autonomous vehicles will generate 4 GB of data every day by 2020.
By this stage, it hopes its connectivity and processing prowess can combine with all the heavy data gathered by Mobileye's tech to provide something resembling an all-in-one autonomous technology package with information stored in the cloud. The acquisition will see Intel's recently-formed Automated Driving Group join Mobileye in Israel, where both companies will continue their existing production programs.
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