Intel just made a big splash in the autonomous tech market with the $15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye.

Over the past few years, Intel has been falling far behind rivals Qualcomm and Nvidia as both companies made big pushes in autonomous car technology. With the purchase, Intel takes a big swoop into the market. Mobileye has been a leading manufacturer in cameras and sensors used for autonomous car tech.

Just this past November, Intel inked a partnership with Mobileye to provide microchips for its crash avoidance system. This was followed by a deal with BMW with the goal of releasing 40 autonomous cars by the end of this year. Those moves were just the precursor for the $15.3 billion purchase of Mobileye.

Car companies have begun a gradual marriage with tech companies as greater importance has been placed on autonomous driving. The race has begun for tech and automotive companies to establish their roles in this lucrative market. Intel estimated in its press release for the acquisition the market opportunity might be up to $70 billion by 2030.

Intel's latest move still pales in comparison to Qualcomm's purchase of NXP Semiconductors for $38 billion, but the move ensured it was the leading semiconductor provider for car companies. It's just another example of how companies view autonomous driving tech.

Intel tries to make sure a repeat of the mobile chip market doesn't happen again

Intel is still the leading chipmaker for computers, but it lost the mobile market to Apple, Samsung and Qualcomm quite decisively. It started to fall behind with autonomous tech, but it has made moves over the past few months to make up big ground, and this $15.3 billion deal for Mobileye is its biggest move yet.