The Las Vegan CES Technology Exhibition is a platform for launching new products and various announcements by the companies taking part in it. For example, carmaker Volkswagen and Israeli auto technology provider Mobileye(NYSE: MBLY)yesterday announced their cooperation in another step towards realizing the vision of a self-driving car.
In a report to the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Mobileye said that an agreement had been signed with Volkswagen, and that talks would be held for the signing of a binding agreement in order to install Mobileye's technology in Volkswagen vehicles.
Mobileye agreed to restrict its talks concerning its technology to a limited number of manufacturers. In response to the report, the Mobileye share price shot up 5.3% to $38, reflected an $8.2 billion market cap for the Israeli company.
Mobileye held its Nasdaq IPO in July 2014 at $25 a share, so its return since has been 52%. The share price was formerly far higher than its current level, however, having reached $64, reflecting a $14 billion market cap.
Mobileye has developed technology that warns drivers about road hazards. Its system includes chips, software, and cameras. The company is currently working on developing systems that will make it possible to manufacture self-driving vehicles.
In an interview with Galei Tzahal (Army Radio), Mobileye cofounder, CTO, and chairman Prof. Amnon Shashua explained that Mobileye's technology makes it possible to produce for the first time unique maps needed for a self-driving car.
He added that this was the missing piece of the puzzle, and its completion would make it possible to launch a self-driving car before 2020. He noted that Mobileye was already working with General Motors and another manufacturer on this technology. According to Shashua, the three auto manufacturers (General Motors, Volkswagen, and the third manufacturer) account for one third of global auto sales.
Shashua predicted that a self-driving car would revolutionize transportation, because one car would be enough each family. "I take the car to work in the morning, it goes back home by itself, and takes the children to their after-school activities," he said, describing a possible situation.
Mobileye's revenue grew 62.6% to $169 million in the first three quarters of 2015. Its GAAP net profit was $49.6 million, compared with a $32.5 million loss in 2014. Its non-GAAP net profit was up 130% to $76.8 million.
Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on January 7, 2016
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