Intel Corp Plans to Take its Self-Driving Unit Mobileye Public in 2022
【Summary】Chipmaker Intel Corp announced on Monday its intention to take its self-driving unit Mobileye public in the U.S. in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock. According to Intel, the move will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders by creating a separate publicly traded company.
Chipmaker Intel Corp announced on Monday its intention to take its self-driving unit Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022 via an initial public offering (IPO) of newly issued Mobileye stock.
According to Intel, the move will unlock the value of Mobileye for Intel shareholders by creating a separate publicly traded company.
Mobileye itself went public in 2014. Intel currently owns 100% of the company's shares and is expected to retain majority ownership following the completion of the IPO. Intel said it has no intention of spinning off or otherwise divesting its majority ownership interest and the two companies will continue as strategic partners, collaborating on projects as they pursue the growth of computing hardware in the automotive sector.
The Mobileye executive team will also remain intact. Prof. Amnon Shashua will continue to serve as the company's CEO. Recently acquired mobility platform Moovit, as well as the various Intel teams working on lidar and radar development and other projects will be aligned as part of Mobileye.
Mobileye is a developer of an entire computer vision-based autonomous driving hardware and software stack. The company's computer vision technology can identify lane markings, traffic signs, pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles.
The company's EyeQ4 system-on-a-chip (SoC) is one of the world's most advanced computer vision processors for autonomous vehicles. Mobileye's EyeQ family of chips can perform complex and computationally intensive computer vision algorithms using minimal power, which has caught the attention of automakers.
Mobileye's EyeQ SoC can support an entire suite of ADAS features based on a single camera sensor. The EyeQ4 SoC can also process data from multiple vehicle sensors required for semi-autonomous driving.
The share of semiconductors is expected to be 20% of a premium vehicle's total production costs by 2030. The recent global chip shortages reflect how much automakers rely on chips for their vehicles.
Intel acquired Mobileye in 2017 for $15.3 billion in order to expand its reach in the auto industry. Intel's plans for Mobileye are for it to become a global leader in autonomous driving technology. and the price it paid for the company reflects how valuable Intel believes the technology will be in the future.
Since acquiring Mobileye, Intel said the unit has experienced substantial revenue growth, achieved numerous technical innovations and made significant investments directed to solving the most difficult scientific and technology problems to prepare the deployment of autonomous driving at scale.
"Intel's acquisition of Mobileye has been a great success. Mobileye has achieved record revenue year-over-year with 2021 gains expected to be more than 40% higher than 2020, highlighting the powerful benefits to both companies of our ongoing partnership," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said. "Amnon and I determined that an IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye's track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders."
Mobileye recently shipped its 100 millionth EyeQ system-on-chip (SoC), as well as scaled its autonomous vehicle (AV) test programs across multiple cities around the world covering the U.S., Europe and Asia.
The company has also secured multiple deals for mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) programs starting in 2023, as well as consumer and business-to-business vehicle production designs for Mobileye's self-driving system starting in 2024.
"Mobileye has realized accelerated growth and opportunity since joining the Intel family, nearly tripling annual chip shipments, revenue and the number of employees since the acquisition," said Shashua, founder and CEO of Mobileye. "Our alignment with Intel continues to provide Mobileye with valuable technical resources and support that has yielded strong revenue along with free cash flow that allows us to fund our AV development work from current revenue."
Intel will continue to support Mobileye with technical resources, while Mobileye's strength in the automotive sector will continue to enable Intel to address the automotive sector's fast-growing demand for chips.
In July, Intel announced that Mobileye would begin testing its self-driving technology in New York City, one of the most challenging environments for self-driving vehicles to operate in.
Mobileye said its chose New York City to prove how well its self-driving technology can handle the city's chaotic streets packed with vehicles, pedestrians, bicyclists, jaywalkers, double parked cars and a host of other challenges that a self-driving vehicle will face in the real world.
A final decision on the IPO and its conditions and ultimate timing is pending and subject to market conditions. The transaction is not expected to have an impact on Intel's 2021 financial targets.
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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