Much of the attention around self-driving vehicles has focused on the race between the biggest players — such as Google and Uber — to dominate the emerging market.
But there’s another race going on, too: to be the biggest provider of the technology under the hood of the driverless vehicles.
In that race, Intel just took a big step, writes Mark Scott, a European technology correspondent for The New York Times.
On Monday, Intel said it would buy Mobileye, an Israeli company that makes digital vision technology, for $15.3 billion. The deal highlights a rush by the chip maker not only to supply chips for driverless cars — the vehicles need a lot of computing power to drive without human assistance — but also to provide additional technologies. In this field, Intel is competing with other chip makers, such as Nvidia and Qualcomm.
The acquisition underlines how lucrative driverless cars appear for a multiplicity of companies. Automakers like General Motors and Tesla, as well as Silicon Valley tech giants like Alphabet and Uber, are betting on autonomous vehicles as the future of transportation. Sensor makers and radar technology companies, among others, also see a market for their wares. And so what if that market needs a few years to take off? It is still only likely to grow.
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