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Intel is taking its self-driving company Mobileye public in 2022

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Mobileye makes safety systems for a number of automakers and aspires to launch its own robotaxi business

Intel announced that it will take public its self-driving technology company Mobileye, the Israeli company it acquired for $15.3 billion in 2017. The chipmaker said that by listing Mobileye’s shares on the stock market, it hopes to unlock more value for Intel’s shareholders. Intel will remain the majority shareholder in Mobileye.

In a statement, Intel heralded its acquisition of the company as a noteworthy success, noting that Mobileye’s revenue in 2021 was 40 percent higher than the previous year. An IPO “provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye’s track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders,” Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said.

The news comes as a number of electric and autonomous vehicle companies have gone public in recent months, with varying levels of success. Despite this wave of interest in the public markets, the AV industry has struggled with overinflated expectations, missed deadlines, shuttered businesses, and a host of technological challenges. Still, many companies have said they are on the cusp of launching commercial businesses after years of testing and research.

Founded in Jerusalem in 1999 by Amnon Shashua and Ziv Aviram, the company develops systems and chips to help vehicles navigate autonomously and provide warnings for collisions. Tesla originally used Mobileye chips for its Autopilot system but severed ties with the company after a fatal accident where Tesla claims Mobileye’s technology was unable to distinguish between a laterally crossing truck and the sky behind it. Its EyeQ4 chip is currently used in the NIO ES6 and ES8, Nissan’s ProPilot 2.0, VW’s Travel Assistant in the Passat and Golf, the Ford Mustang Mach-E, as well as the F-150 truck.

Mobileye is currently working on four different products that offer varying levels of automation, including an advanced driver assist system (ADAS) that it currently supplies to 25 companies and a “premium” ADAS that will launch with Zeekr, an electric vehicle brand owned by China’s Geely. Neither ADAS system will include lidar, the sensor that uses lasers to determine the real-time location of objects on the road.

Mobileye’s other two products will use lidar and are more advanced in their automation technology. Mobileye Drive is a self-driving system that utilizes the companies’ EyeQ system-on-a-chip, as well as a data crowdsourcing program called the Road Experience Management, or REM, which uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to build out a global 3D map. This product will be used by customers like Udelv, Transdev, Lohr, and Schaeffler for applications like autonomous delivery vehicles and self-driving shuttles.

Mobileye also aspires to operate its own robotaxis, recently announcing plans to launch an autonomous ride-hailing service in Germany in 2022. It also said it will test its vehicles in New York City, a notoriously dense and difficult place to test AVs, but is still negotiating with local regulators for permission.