Intel moved deeper into the world of smart mobility and autonomous driving by announcing Monday its plan to acquire Israel-based urban transit data startup Moovit for $900 million.
Moovit’s principle product is an urban mobility app with a particular focus on public transportation, which is used by hundreds of millions of customers. It uses public transit data to provide route planning in the vein of Google’s and Apple’s mapping apps, as well as scooter- and bike-sharing services and ride-hailing companies like Uber and Lyft. But because it relies partly on crowdsourced data, Moovit can also provide routing for areas where no publicly released data is available. The app is used by 800 million customers and services 3,100 cities across 102 countries, Intel said.
“a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services”
Intel said its acquisition of Moovit brings it closer to achieving its plan to “become a complete mobility provider, including robotaxi services, which is forecast to be an estimated $160 billion opportunity by 2030.”
Moovit is the latest mobility-themed acquisition by Intel, which previously predicted a $7 trillion windfall from autonomous driving (though it’s doubtful that projection still stands, given the rocky start to autonomous vehicles’ path to commercialization) and has since been laboring to position itself to reap some of those profits.
In 2017, the company acquired Mobileye, another Israel-based startup that specializes in chips for camera-based autonomous vehicles. The company is testing a self-driving taxi service in Israel and just announced plans to deploy its robot taxis in South Korea. Mobileye also has a partnership with Chinese EV startup Nio to build electric autonomous vehicles.
Intel led a $50 million investment round in Moovit back in 2018. The company was founded in 2012 and is based in Tel Aviv, Israel, with approximately 200 employees.
Intel sees Moovit, as well as Mobileye’s advanced driver assist system (ADAS), as pieces in a bigger puzzle in its plan to deploy a fleet of robotaxis. “Mobileye’s ADAS technology is already improving the safety of millions of cars on the road,” Bob Swan, Intel CEO, said in a statement, “and Moovit accelerates their ability to truly revolutionize transportation – reducing congestion and saving lives – as a full-stack mobility provider.”