Intel moved deeper into the world of mobility and autonomous driving by announcing on Monday (May 04, 2020) the acquisition of the Israel-based transit data startup Moovit. The deal was closed for a whopping USD 900 million.

The principal product of Moovit is an urban mobility app with a focus on public transportation; it is being used by 800 million customers in 3,100 cities across 102 countries. The application uses public transit data to provide route planning via Google and Apple’s mapping applications and vehicle sharing services like Lyft and Uber. However, the dependency is partly on the crowdsourced data. Moovit can also provide routing for areas where there is no publicly released data is available.

Intel finds the deal lucrative as it brings the company closer to the plan – it is to become the top mobility provider, which could be estimated to be a USD 160 billion opportunity by 2030.

Before acquiring Moovit, Intel had predicted a USD 7 trillion windfall from autonomous driving. Though, it is doubtful whether the projection still stands or not. But, since then, Intel has been struggling and laboring in this aspect to reap some profits.

“Combining the daily mobility habits and needs of millions of Moovit users with the state-of-the-art, safe, affordable, and eco-friendly transportation enabled by self-driving vehicles, we will be able to make cities better places to live in,” said Nir Erez, Moovit co-founder and CEO. He also mentioned that Intel’s investment in Moovit was strategic, not just financial.

In 2017, the company acquired Mobileye, a venture that specializes in chips for camera-based autonomous vehicles. Intel also led a USD 50 million investment round in Moovit in 2018. “Being a part of Intel has empowered Mobileye to dream beyond computer vision and into the driverless future, and now we intend to empower Moovit to dream bigger, reach higher, and together to make an impact on the future of transportation,” Mobileye’s Shashua wrote in a blog post.

Moovit app provides real-time information about public transport across various countries. And Intel’s acquisition of Moovit will ultimately support Intel’s Mobileye in becoming a complete mobility provider.