Intel steers toward driverless future with Mobileye self-driving car unit

Intel plans to take its self-driving car unit public in the US in mid-2022, a deal which could value the Israeli unit at more than US$50 billion
17 December 2021

What is going on with Intel and its Mobileye self-driving car plans (Photo by Ethan Miller / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

  • Intel Corp’s Mobileye is piloting a robotaxi service in Paris presently
  • Intel plans to take its self-driving car unit public in the US in mid-2022
  • Mobileye has been testing autonomous vehicles in a variety of cities around the world and plans to bring its technology to personal consumer vehicles by 2025 as well

In 2017, Intel Corp agreed to buy Israeli autonomous vehicle technology firm Mobileye for US$15.3 billion. The deal was meant to thrust the US chipmaker to compete with rivals like Nvidia Corp and Qualcomm Inc in developing driverless systems for global automakers. Four years later, Intel announced that it will be taking the Israeli autonomous driving firm public by 2022.

“In the four years since Mobileye was acquired by Intel, Mobileye has experienced substantial revenue growth, achieved numerous technical innovations and made significant investments directed to solving the most difficult scientific and technology problems to prepare the deployment of autonomous driving at scale,” Intel said in a recent press release.

Being one of Israel’s biggest success stories in tech, Mobileye develops self-driving cars and advanced driver-assistance systems for other manufacturers. Over the past years, it has partnered with Tesla, BMW, Volvo, and General Motors. Mobileye even signed a deal with Ford last July, to support the latter’s next generation of advanced driving and safety features across the automaker’s global product lineup. 

“Intel will continue to support Mobileye with technical resources to deliver industry-leading sensor technologies, while Mobileye’s strength in the automotive sector will continue to enable Intel to address the automotive sector’s fast-growing silicon BOM opportunity,” the company said in the release.

Moreover, Intel’s long-term commitment to the automotive market is underscored by recently announced programs, including the Intel Foundry Services Accelerator and dedicated capacity for the automotive industry.

Testing out autonomous vehicles in various cities

Mobileye on the other hand has been testing autonomous vehicles in a variety of cities around the world, working towards an end goal of launching a robotaxi service. The Israeli company has also said it would bring its technology to personally-owned consumer vehicles by 2025. 

In this year alone, Mobileye shipped its 100-millionth EyeQ system-on-chip (SoC), scaled autonomous vehicle test programs across multiple cities around the world including in the US, Europe and Asia, unveiled its production robotaxi, and secured 41 new ADAS program wins across more than 30 automakers globally. 

The company has also secured multiple deals for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) programs that will kickstart in 2023, as well as consumer and business-to-business vehicle production designs for Mobileye’s self-driving system starting in 2024. 

To top it off, just this week, the company added Paris to its rapidly expanding global autonomous vehicle testing program by announcing its first autonomous on-demand service in the city. It did so in collaboration with RATP Group, the world’s third-largest public transportation operator. 

Mobileye will even be launching a full-scale, fully driverless delivery vehicle service kicking off in two years’ time. The subsidiary of Intel will be joining forces with self-driving delivery startup Udelv to run the new delivery service which will be made using a new type of cabin-less vehicle called The Transporter. Both Mobileye and Udelv say they will produce 35,000 Transporters between 2023 to 2028.