Wednesday, 22 November, 2017

Samsung is investing $300 million to create driverless cars

Samsung’s new $300m self-driving fund is already splashing cash Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, puts $90M into TTTech
Cecilia Poole | 15 September, 2017, 00:35

Tech companies like Apple, Google, Baidu (and Samsung) are also making large bets here, building autonomous cars of their own and also investing in and buying up talent to enhance those strategies. TTTech is a global leader in advanced driver assistance systems, more widely known as ADAS.

Samsung Electronics Co.is upping its $8 billion bet on automotive technology, forming a separate business unit within Harman to house autonomous driving products and plowing $300 million into a new fund investing in startups in the space. Samsung's existing Strategy and Innovation Center will work with Harman's newly formed Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit and Connected Car division "to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles", the company said.

The South Korean giant is gearing to up its presence in the self-driving vehicle domain. 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.

The company added: "Samsung will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop the next generation of automotive innovation". Its technology was also applied to planes including the Boeing 787 and Nasa's Orion spacecraft.

In 2015, Samsung's venture investment arm led a $6.5 million funding round for a connected auto device developed by Dallas-based Vinli Inc.

While giants like GM, Volkswagen and Toyota (among others) have traditionally dominated the automotive industry, the next wave of innovations related to how we (and other things) get from A to B leaves everything to play for, as auto ownership, in-car systems, and how cars will be operated are all getting disrupted and updated through technology.

The autonomous driving unit will explore a wide range of elements that bring self-driving cars to the forefront, including driving algorithms and systems integration. TTTech has demonstrated a remarkable ability to innovate and build world-class technologies and platforms. Our Automotive Innovation Fund, and we look forward to working with leading OEMs like Audi and the entire TTTech team to set a new standard for automotive-safety technology"There is already a high demand for ADAS solutions".

In addition to the new fund, Samsung also said that it will now start to work in partnership with the connected vehicle technology firm Harman that it acquired for the princely sum of $8bn back in November of previous year in the form of the Harman Strategic Business Unit (SBU).

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