Intel is showing just how committed they are to becoming a major player in the growing self-driving car industry after purchasing the computer vision business Mobileye for just over $15 billion in 2017. Located in Santa Clara, California, the chip manufacturer is focused on data analytics, connectivity, and semi-conductors to combine with Mobileye’s mapping and vision software. This will a lot of attention and business from car makers who would like to equip their cars with new technology and prepare for self-driving vehicles.
But beyond in-car technology, Intel is also looking toward a role in the ecosystem of data-centric businesses that will grow up to support the transformation of the auto industry into the service-oriented sector dubbed “mobility.” If broad swaths of the population abandon individual car ownership in favor of trip options such as on-demand rides, private shuttles, scooters, bikes, and a re-imagined public transit system—of course, that’s still an “if”—tech companies will be needed to organize all that activity. Those companies will depend on massive amounts of data, and much of it will come from connected cars gathering information about routes, road features, weather, delays, pedestrians, traffic, and other factors. As Intel expressed it in a company presentation on the Mobileye acquisition, future cars will be “data centers on wheels.”
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