Intel is buying Israeli driverless car firm Mobileye for a whopping $15.3 billion, putting the tech company squarely in the game to develop self-driving vehicles and confirming the Jewish state’s status as an innovation hub.
“Congratulations to Mobileye! Israeli genius, Israeli pride,” Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote on Twitter after the deal’s announcement.
Added Science and Technology Minister Ofir Akunes, “The fact that large international companies see potential in Israel and are seeking to acquire Israeli companies that lead their prospective fields is a source of national pride for our technological strength.”
Mobileye produces the sensors and other devices that let a car know where it is in space in relation to other vehicles, pedestrians and relevant objects. It was founded by Amnon Shashua in 1999 to help lower motorist fatalities and injuries.
Following the sale, Mobileye will continue to be led by Shashua and headquartered in Israel, with Intel aiding the company with its own tech know-how and in connecting with carmakers.