The big picture: At a time when most companies that have been working on self-driving tech are slowing down to cope with the new economic reality, Intel is doubling down on its efforts to tackle the future of public transportation through a new acquisition. The company believes that using data on how 800 million people around the world move through their cities is an important piece of solving the puzzle of intelligent transportation.
Intel recently sacrificed some of its past acquisitions to focus on novel AI solutions, which are going to be developed by Habana Labs. Now the company has acquired Moovit, an Israeli company that is behind one of the most popular apps in the world of smart transportation.
The deal is evaluated at around $900 million, and Intel says the purchase goes a long way towards its plan to become a "complete mobility provider." Specifically, this will complement the company's $15.3 billion Mobileye bet on self-driving cars and will build upon the existing relationship with Moovit, where Intel has been a major backer along with BMW and LVMH.
When it bought Mobileye, Intel made it clear that it wants a piece of the robotaxi market, which is estimated to grow into a $160 billion industry over the next decade. Moovit has 800 million users and services that are active in 3,100 cities across 102 countries, which can feed AIs with a lot of data about urban transit patterns.
As of writing, Intel licenses its advanced driver-assistance systems for use in 60 million cars made by more than 25 automakers. With Moovit, the company wants to offer the ability to coordinate fleets of robotaxis intelligently by using real-time traffic data and intelligent route planning.
Intel CEO Bob Swan said in a statement that the company's purpose is to "create world-changing technology that enriches the lives of every person on Earth, and our Mobileye team delivers on that purpose every day. [...] Mobileye’s ADAS technology is already improving the safety of millions of cars on the road, and Moovit accelerates their ability to truly revolutionize transportation – reducing congestion and saving lives – as a full-stack mobility provider."