Samsung has announced that it has placed $300 million USD behind its own business unit that will develop autonomous vehicle technology.
Apple may have pulled out of the autonomous car race – instead electing to produce the software that will pilot self-driving vehicles instead – but now Samsung has announced its plans to develop a new autonomous vehicle programme with a $300 million USD investment.
According to The Verge, Samsung has plans to develop its autonomous vehicle project within Harmon – the audio technology firm that the South Korean chaebol bought late last year.
The news comes after the California Department of Motor Vehicles revealed that Samsung has been granted a self-driving motor vehicle permit – in addition to the permits Samsung already has in South Korea.
Presently, it’s not precisely clear what the sum total of Samsung’s autonomous ambitions are – the company has purchased TTTech; an automotive form that has previously developed the autonomous capabilities and safety features of Audi’s 2017 A8.
The South Korean company may instead opt to produce a framework for an autonomous vehicle, rather than an outright self-driving car – the move could see Samsung open-source its standards and ensure a wide range of connectivity and compatibility with not only its mobile devices, but further its appliances and online services.
The bid could further see Samsung expand from simply focussing on private vehicles to commercial trucks, trailers, or other forms of transport in the near future.
The South Korean company has procured a bullish series of acquisitions of late – the company recently acquired Viv, the ‘next-generation’ digital assistant, and is now working with Harman to develop its own smart speaker that will presumably run Bixby.
What are your thoughts? Can Samsung go head-to-head with the likes of Apple, Tesla and others and win? Be sure to let us know your opinion in the comments below!