Intel announced today that it would acquire self-driving tech firm Mobileye. The acquisition is worth about $15.3 billion and will enable the two brands to combine their driverless software and hardware know-how. The end goal is to deliver a fully autonomous car on the road.

BMW also hopes that the acquisition will be speeding up the rate of development of the autonomous vehicle systems that will end up in the iNext, which is due in 2021.

“We welcome the news about the acquisition and are looking forward to working together in an even stronger relationship to bring highly and fully-automated driving to the streets by 2021, when we launch the iNEXT,” BMW said in a statement.

The iNext electric car is likely to offer level three (eyes off) autonomy, with level five (driver off) autonomy a possibility.

READ ALSO: BMW Group, Intel and Mobileye will have autonomous test vehicles on the roads by the second half of 2017

Intel said: “The acquisition will couple the best-in-class technologies from both companies, including Intel’s high-performance computing and connectivity expertise and Mobileye’s leading computer vision expertise to create automated driving solutions from the cloud through the network to the car.

“The combination is expected to accelerate innovation for the automotive industry and position Intel as a leading technology provider in the fast-growing market for highly and fully autonomous vehicles.”

It said purchasing Mobileye comes as part of its strategy to invest in data-intensive market opportunities that “build on the company’s strengths in computing and connectivity from the cloud, through the network, to the device”.

[Source: Autocar]