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Intel Buys Israeli Mobility Service Startup

Big data from Moovit app will be teamed with Mobileye autonomous vehicle tech
#Intel #Mobileye

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Moovit, a Tel Aviv-based startup, helps people find, compare and book various transportation options through its mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) app.

Such platforms are great tools to sort out and coordinate a trip’s first and last mile—and everything in between—from trains, buses and taxis to ride-hailing and shared bikes and scooters.

If there is a way to get you from here to there, chances are that Moovit has it covered. That’s part of the reason why Intel is anteing up $900 million to acquire the company in a deal that was announced on Monday.

Another (perhaps even larger) consideration is the access the company provides to transportation data.

Putting Big Data to Work

In addition to facilitating multi-modal travel, MaaS can provide a treasure trove of information.

(Image: Moovit)

Moovit, for example, has more than 800 million users and services in 3,100 cities across 102 countries. Every time someone uses the app, where and how they travel is tracked and put into an anonymized data base… that’s a lot of B-I-G data.

Intel’s Mobileye unit aims to use that information as it develops new mobility services, including robo-taxis. The more insight it has about demand and usage, the company figures, the better it will be able to meet customer needs.

Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua calls such data “mobility intelligence.”

Teaming Up on Mobility

Intel acquired Mobileye, which also is based in Israel, in 2017 for $15 billion.

Since then, Mobileye’s sales have more than doubled. The company’s sensing, mapping and processing software are used on nearly 60 million vehicles worldwide to enable advanced driver-assistance systems.

The next step in Moblieye’s growth strategy is expanding into autonomous vehicle services. Last November, the Intel unit began working with Nio, a Chinese EV startup, to develop and test such technologies, with a goal of launching commercial applications by 2022.

The Moovit acquisition promises to support and accelerate these efforts. Mobileye notes that Moovit’s proprietary transportation dataset will enhance predictive technologies based on customer demand and traffic patterns. It also will be able to tap into data gleaned from Moovit’s partnerships with more than 7,500 transit agencies and operators.

What’s Next?

Founded in 2012, Moovit has some 200 employees.

Nir Arez

Once the deal is completed, Moovit will be operated as a separate brand under Mobileye. CEO Nir Erez will join Mobileye’s executive team as an executive vice president.

Mobileye says the acquisition is another step in the company’s plans to become a “complete mobility provider.”

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