But it's a natural fit for Intel: Its processors and cloud solutions provide the computational horsepower that will be essential for self-driving vehicles and the data centers that will support them.
Intel's chips are in several hundred autonomous test vehicles, the company said in January. Mobileye is well-rounded in terms of creating self-driving software, while Intel already has an established reputation in making hardware chips. The Israeli company now utilizes STM chips for the products it provides auto manufacturers with.
Last July, Intel and Mobileye jointly teamed up with BMW to develop technologies for highly and fully automated driving.
At this price, it would make the deal the largest ever acquisition of an Israeli high-tech firm, as well as the largest ever in the field of autonomous driving.
The technology that Intel and MobilEye are working on won't just be limited to BMW cars, though.
Mobileye, a Jerusalem-based company, was founded in 1999 by Prof. By acquiring Mobileye, Intel is expanding its portfolio with products as diverse as cameras, sensor chips, in-car networking and roadway mapping, as well as machine learning solutions. The Marker and Axios both claim the deal is valued at around $15 billion, and it will see Intel take over some key technology for its ambitions to lead autonomous cars.
Simply put, Mobileye gives Intel VIP-level access to the auto industry.
The bid values Mobileye at $63.54 per share in cash, a premium of more than 34% above Friday's close.
"Mobileye brings the industry's best automotive-grade computer vision", Brian Krzanich, chief executive officer of Intel, said in a statement.
The acquisition of Mobileye could propel Intel into the front ranks of automotive suppliers at a time when the company has been downplaying its core semiconductor business.
"The deal dramatically proves that the vision which we are leading is being realized", said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.