Intel-owned (INTC) Mobileye unveiled its commercial self-driving car technology for the first time today at the International Motor Show in Germany. The autonomous vehicle (AV) unit also announced plans to launch a robotaxi pilot program in the country starting in 2022. Intel stock edged slightly higher in early trading action Tuesday.
Germany’s auto show is the first major industry event to occur since pandemic shutdowns began in early 2020. This year’s event has placed heavy emphasis on mobility solutions — ranging from electric vehicles to e-bikes and scooters — to appeal to a climate-friendly crowd.
The world’s largest automakers also addressed the global chip shortage. Top auto stocks like Tesla (TSLA), Ford (F) and General Motors (GM) have stumbled in recent months as supply gaps have led to factory shutdowns and production cuts.
New Self-Driving Car Platform Debuts
Intel’s Mobileye Unit’s latest self-driving car system is equipped with a Level 4 self-driving system and is the result of key strategic partnerships. Last December, the company partnered with China EV maker Nio (NIO) to provide vehicles for robotaxi development. The Intel subsidiary also acquired mobility-as-a-service (MaaS) solutions company Moovit in a $900 million deal in May 2020.
“Mobileye is passionate about bringing autonomous vehicles to consumers,” Mobileye CEO Amnon Shashua said. “The new Mobileye AV, accessible through the MoovitAV service, is an important milestone on the way to a driverless world.”
The AV company also announced a partnership with Sixt (SIXGF), a German-based car rental company, to bring robotaxis to Munich riders by next year. Mobileye expects to scale up the pilot program to a few dozen vehicles throughout major cities in Germany by 2023.
In July, Mobileye announced it was testing self-driving cars in New York City after it became the first and only company to receive approval for an AV testing permit from state regulators.
Intel CEO Addresses Auto Chip Shortage
In addition to self-driving car chip announcements, Intel’s CEO Pat Gelsinger in his keynote remarks also addressed the global chip shortage that has hamstrung auto production. Gelsinger, who took over Intel’s top spot in February, projected that industry demand for chips could grow more than 20% by 2030.
“This new era of sustained demand for semiconductors needs bold, big thinking,” Gelsinger said.
To meet that demand, Intel plans to expand capacity at its Ireland Foundry and build new chip manufacturing plants in Europe. The company plans to develop at least two semiconductor manufacturing facilities. Future investments in European chip production could top $80 billion by 2030.
Additionally, Intel will launch a service that includes a design team to work with automakers on custom and industry-standard chip needs.
Intel Stock Attempts Comeback
The ramp up on chip production is part of Intel’s strategy to reassert itself in the semiconductor manufacturing space.
Intel stock inched up slightly on the stock market today. Intel stock is trying to mount a comeback after hitting a 19-year high of 69.29 in January 2020 ahead of the coronavirus stock market correction.
It’s been a bumpy ride for Intel stock since. Shares are consolidating with a 68.59 buy point after failing to break out of a double-bottom base in March, according to MarketSmith chart analysis. That month, Intel revealed plans to spend $20 billion to construct two new semiconductor fabrication plants, or fabs, in Arizona. The company also plans to develop additional foundry capacity in Europe.
Intel stock ranks a weak No. 23 out of 32 stocks in IBD’s Electronics-Semiconductor Manufacturing industry group. It has a subpar IBD Composite Rating of 44 out of 99, according to the IBD Stock Checkup tool. IBD’s Composite Rating combines five separate proprietary ratings into one easy-to-use rating. The best growth stocks have a Composite Rating of 90 or better.
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