Mobileye IPO’s Amidst Mixed Fortunes for Autonomous Technology Firms

Mobileye, the maker of the EyeQ “system on chips” which are used to interpret images taken from cameras onboard cars for applications such as ADAS and Autonomous Driving, has returned to the public markets five years after it was bought by US chipmaking giant Intel for $16 bn. The implied valuation of Mobileye at the IPO price was $17 bn much lower than the initial target of a $50bn valuation given last year by Intel.

Mobileye is planning on building a full stack of both hardware and software technologies which could be used to power the self-driving cars of the future which include plans to develop their own advanced Radar and LiDAR (Light Detection and Ranging). Currently, they envision that some cars capable of level 4 autonomy may be on public roads in 2025 and beyond.

The IPO comes at a time when other companies involved in developing self-driving technologies appear to be struggling with producing robust systems to meet the vast challenges involved.

Argo AI an autonomous vehicle start-up which was backed by both Ford and Volkswagen and had $1 bn in funding announced it was shutting down. LiDAR companies Velodyne and Ouster have announced a merger after both have seen their valuations tumble over 85% in the last 12-months. At the same time, California has approved Waymo’s deployment of driverless car and charge for the usage of its autonomous vehicles in San Francisco. It is becoming increasingly important to select the right technologies in the self-driving car’s race.