Moovit purchase keeps Mobileye on track for robotaxi launch in 2022

"Our confidence in the maturity of our self-driving technology is why we feel we can meet the timeline," Mobileye CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua said.

Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua speaks at a press event at CES in Las Vegas, January 5, 2016 (photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Mobileye co-founder Amnon Shashua speaks at a press event at CES in Las Vegas, January 5, 2016
(photo credit: AFP PHOTO)
Intel's acquisition of Israeli mobility start-up Moovit will keep Mobileye's development of autonomous robotaxi services on track for a 2022 launch, according to Intel senior vice president and Mobileye CEO Prof. Amnon Shashua.

Speaking to reporters on Tuesday after Intel acquired Ness Ziona-based Moovit for approximately $900 million, Shashua said using Moovit’s mobility data and insights was key to Mobileye’s “global roadmap of going from a self-driving car into a service.”

Intel purchased Jerusalem-based autonomous vehicle developer Mobileye for $15.3 billion in August 2017 – a record exit for an Israeli company to date. Last year, Mobileye said it plans to launch driverless robotaxi services in 2022 and become a “complete mobility provider.”

“Our confidence has only grown in the past six months, and we are now fairly confident that we’ll meet the timeline for the self-driving system stack,” said Shashua. “Waiting longer [to integrate Moovit's technology] would have jeopardized our readiness for 2022. Our confidence in the maturity of our self-driving technology is why we feel we can meet the timeline.”

Shashua said the coronavirus outbreak had been “immaterial” to Mobileye’s development efforts, highlighting the continued need for large-scale movement of people and the “unstoppable trend” of automation.

Founded in 2011 by Nir Erez, Roy Bick and Yaron Evron, the Moovit app and website assists individuals plan and navigate their way around urban areas, using all modes of available transportation. The company says it has served more than 800 million users in some 3,100 cities, spanning 102 countries in six continents.

In addition to its popular app, the company also provides analytics platforms to cities, transit authorities and businesses, enabling optimized planning and operations for residents and employees.

Intel held a stake in Moovit prior to the acquisition, after investment arm Intel Capital led a $50 million fundraising round in the company in February 2018. Shashua joined the company’s board of directors as an observer following the deal.

Moovit will continue to operate as a standalone subsidiary while partnering with Mobileye and continue expanding its geographical reach, said Erez, who serves as Moovit’s chief executive. While retaining his role at the company, Erez will also be appointed as an executive vice-president at Mobileye and a vice-president at Intel.