Samsung is investing $300 million to create driverless cars

Allan Goodman
September 15, 2017

Alongside this, Samsung has put €75 million (nearly $90 million) into TTTech, an Austria-based developer of platforms and safety software for connected cars, alongside a corresponding investment from Audi.

The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund has been setup alongside a Harman - which Samsung acquired in the past year - Autonomous/ADAS strategic business unit (SBU).

To further access to new tech, Samsung is also creating a fund to invest in an array of technologies needed to enable self-driving and connected cars, from sensors and machine vision to artificial intelligence and security.

The announcement comes shortly after Samsung completed its acquisition of American audio and in-car technology firm Harman.

Other than Samsung, TTTech has already generated an amount of $54 million from Audi, General Electric and Infineon.

Samsung Electronics has established a $300 million Automotive Innovation Fund, focused exclusively on the automotive market.

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Young Sohn, Samsung's chief strategy officer, and Ricky Hudi, founder and managing director of Future Mobility Technologies, have joined TTTech Auto division's new supervisory board alongside several other, unnamed industry experts. The company said it "will not enter the car-manufacturing business".

"In partnership with OEMs and start-ups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient and more enjoyable".

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

Rather than building a auto of its own, Samsung and Harmon plan to develop technologies that can be incorporated into vehicles from automakers. The company has on-road driverless vehicle test licenses in both South Korea and California, as it tests out new components and systems. According to a report from Venture Beat, Samsung Electronics is seeking to diversify into the growing autonomous driving industry.

Earlier investments by Samsung in the automotive sector include AImotive and Renovo for automated driving; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.

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