Chipmaker Intel has announced plans to acquire Isreal based company Mobileye for $14.7 Billion. Mobileye is one of the world leaders that supply obstacle detection software and command nearly 70% of the market share. The company creates software & chips that works with cameras in the vehicles to detect obstacles on the path of the automotive. The entire setup is sold under the name EyeQ3 and is engineered to fit in any small cars. With this product that is very affordable by any car owner, Mobileye was able to gain market dominance. After this acquisition Mobileye will also roll out two super advanced versions of this product and it will be called EyeQ4 and EyeQ5. These new systems will be capable of pulling data from more sources like the Lidar, Radar, Sensors etc. and do even more advanced data analysis & pattern recognition.
FYI: With the Autonomous sector gaining a lot of heat, obstacle detection will become a critical element in any Driver-less vehicles. This technology uses a combination of Digital Image processing, specific chips, Lidar, Camera etc. to detect any objects ahead. The objects can be anything ie. Stone, Animals, trees, vehicles, pedestrians etc. The obstacle detection systems must be intelligent enough to understand the nature of the object and detect what the intention of the obstacle is. Whether its a fallen tree or a road worker asking the vehicle to stop etc. Though the technology has been considered futuristic until now, it has become a basic component in the upcoming Autonomous vehicles.
With this acquisition, Intel gains an entry in the Self-Driving race and becomes a major force in supplying technology that helps in lane keeping, smart collision detection etc,. Since Mobileye already has a strong foothold in the market – they can collect valuable real-time data using which they have plans to introduce intelligent maps by name ‘Mobileye maps’. Already automotive giants like Volkswagon, GM, Nissan etc. are in plans to equip their vehicles with Mobileye maps in the coming 3-4 years. Also companies like Delphi, Continental AG have agreed to integrate it in their products. Intel as a leading chip maker for PC’s & Mobile phones is very bullish to enter the Self-driving market and has already laid the ground work for it. The company is developing an Automobile focused super computer by name Xeon that it will be marketing to luxury brands like BMW, Cadillac etc.
As per IHS market forecasts, Automobile manufacturers and related software makers will reach purchasing levels of $20 billion to $30 billion a year for technology, parts, chips, startups etc. to better their self-driving vehicles. Global sales of Autonomous vehicles will reach 600,000 by 2025 & 21 million by 2035!
The other players doing extremely well in this space are Nvidia ( with their Drive PX computer that is going to be integrated in Tesla, Mercedes, Toyota, Audi, Volvo etc. ), Qualcomm Inc. ( acquired NXP for $47 Billion and launched BlueBox – a module that works magic in the obstacle detection space ) & Renesas ( Introduced the much talked about Renesas Autonomy that helps Autonomous vehicles detect obstacles ahead with the help of cameras and Lidar )
Getting back to our topic, Mobileye’s EyeQ4 obstacle detection systems will be introduced in 2 million vehicles in 2018. With the acquisition of Mobileye, Experts expect Intel’s annual revenue from various Autonomous vehicle assistance systems to be $10 billion in 2022.