Samsung Creates $300 Million Self-Driving Cars Fund

15 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Darrell Baldwin
  • Samsung Electronics and TTTech Announce Strategic Partnership to Deliver Generation of Autonomous and Safety Technology to Automakers

The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will focus on connected auto and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, artificial intelligence, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security and privacy, according to Samsung.

Samsung has announced a $300 million fund dedicated to self-driving cars.

The announcement comes shortly after Samsung completed its acquisition of American audio and in-car technology firm Harman. The spinout is working on networked safety control systems that help make industrial and transport electronics systems safer and more reliable.

The bounty of cash is part of a new business unit called the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund.

"During this period of extraordinary transformation in the automotive industry, we are excited to play a leadership role in supporting and shaping the future of smarter, more connected vehicles", Samsung Electronics President and Chief Strategy Officer Young Sohn said in a statement.

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 partnership with OEMs and start-ups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient and more enjoyable". Samsung CEO Dinesh Paliwal said in a phone interview that the move will include an advanced-driver assistance platform with open source software. The company also plans to create a separate unit, the Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU), within Harman.

TTTech, a leader in "functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration" for autonomous and other automated systems, had already been working with Audi, specifically on the Audi 8. for ADAS and automated driving platforms. Samsung already has licenses to do on-road testing of autonomous vehicle technology and hardware in both South Korea and California.

In announcing the new unit, Samsung was careful to note that it won't enter the car-manufacturing business, positioning itself as non-threatening ally to automakers.

Earlier investments by Samsung's existing investment funds have included stakes in automotive startups, including AImotive and Renovo for automated driving; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.

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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