Samsung reveals autonomous vehicle plans with $300m investment fund

Samsung reveals autonomous vehicle plans with $300m investment fund

Samsung's investment in TTTech is the first investment from its $300 million fund to strengthen its technology pool for autonomous driving, such as artificial intelligence and security.

Not to be outdone by its rivals in the auto and tech industries, Samsung unveiled a large autonomous driving fund for start-ups and technologies. The new Harman unit will work with Samsung's Smart Machines team to develop new technologies for connected vehicles.

Samsung is making a huge investment in autonomous driving. The spinout is working on networked safety control systems that help make industrial and transport electronics systems safer and more reliable.

Samsung Electronics is starting to focus on a different kind of mobile technology. The funds will not directly be used in the development of these products, instead the company will fund into different startups which, in turn, will come up with products.

"The [Harman SBU] fund reflects the company's commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration", said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung and chairman of the board of Harman.

A couple of weeks ago, Samsung received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California.

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Harman's new team will work closely with Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center, Samsung's Silicon Valley head office that seeks the Korean tech giant's new growth engine businesses.

In addition to the fund, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit.

"There is already a high demand for ADAS solutions, and that demand is rapidly growing with the advancements in connected cars and autonomous driving", said Dinesh Paliwal, President and CEO, Harman.

"This strategic business unit demonstrates our commitment to answer that call and as a collective force and will combine our resources and networks".

Just don't expect Samsung to unveil its own auto any time soon. Previous investments have included automated driving startups AImotive, Renovo; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing, the company noted.

Still, the future is autonomous - at least, that's what we're meant to believe - and Samsung isn't sitting idle there.

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