The future of driverless cars looks bright, at least according to US chipmaker Intel which has just forked out $15 billion to buy autonomous driving system developer Mobileye.
Intel is paying $63.54 a share for the Israeli company which was founded in 1999. Revenue last year tripled to $358m and pre-tax profits leapt from $79.7m to $125.4m.
Intel already works with Mobileye, teaming up with BMW to test driverless cars on the road.
The accepted date for when driverless cars might become a reality on the roads is 2020 and Intel reckons that by 2030, the market could be worth some $70 billion. It is one a number of tech giants that see a healthy future for autonomous cars, even though there remains much debate about the ethical concerns.
What excites Intel is that cars are “…increasingly becoming data centres on wheels…” and the company believes that by 2020, autonomous vehicles could be generating around four terabytes of data every day.
Mobileye, which will absorb Intel’s automated driving group, will continue to be based in Israel and headed-up by its co-founder, chairman and chief technology officer Amnon Shashua.