Intel Likes to Moovit Forward with Israeli Robotaxi Company Purchase

Intel appears ready to move into the robotaxis business in the near future. It acquired Moovit, an Israeli startup, as Paul Sawyers wrote in story:

“Intel has confirmed that it’s buying Israeli urban mobility startup Moovit, in a deal worth $900 million. Reports of the impending acquisition were first published by local Israeli publication Calcalist on Sunday, and in a press release, Intel noted that it was buying Ness Ziona-based Moovit to help make Mobileye a “complete mobility provider,” which will eventually include driverless taxi services.”

Chip giant Intel has a recent track record of acquiring Israeli startups. Just a few months ago it paid around $2 billion for Habana Labs, which develops programmable AI and machine learning accelerators for datacenters.

Founded in 2012, Moovit is best known for its consumer-facing app that’s used by more than 40 million active users globally to see the best ways to traverse a city using a combination of transport options, and even includes “nifty” augmented reality (AR) directions:

“From our perspective, this deal happened very quickly,” Nir Erez, the CEO and co-founder of Israel-based Moovit App Global Ltd. said in an interview with Calcalist on Tuesday. “Intel invested in Moovit in 2018 and it has taken on an important role in its operations ever since, and Erez (Dagan, Mobileye’s Executive Vice President of Products and Strategy, HR) sits on the board. They knew what was going on in the company and met with other partners. The process rapidly shifted gears — we received the offer a month ago and had to reach a decision quickly.”

The technology uses insights into patterns of local supply and demand with dynamic flexibility, according to Dagan.

According to the story, Intel and its Mobileye subsidiary intend to benefit from Moovit’s data, based on connections with transit partners and corporations, as well as 40 million active users who generate more than 6 billion data points each day around traffic flow and user demand. By merging Moovit with Mobileye, Intel is poised to be on the crest of a major increase in driverless vehicles across all areas of commerce, including freight and passenger transport.

When asked how his employees took the news of being acquired Erez said they were “happy and excited.” The deal was done through Zoom video calls and virtual signing.

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