News Worms
News Worms


Samsung's big bet on autonomous driving doesn't include building a auto

Samsung's big bet on autonomous driving doesn't include building a auto

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.

TTTech, an Austria-based networked safety control systems developer spun out from TU Wien, raised €75m ($89m) from electronics producer Samsung today.

The Thursday announcement to invest in a partner company of Audi AG comes as the South Korean company completed its acquisition of Harman.

The future self-driving vehicle will effectively be a data centre on wheels, packed to the gills with technology, and now Samsung wants to influence its development with the launch of a new $300m fund. Instead, Samsung will work with automakers and other mobility companies to "develop the next generation of automotive innovation".

"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", said Young Sohn, president and CSO of Samsung Electronics and chairman of the board of Harman.

"In partnership with [manufacturers] and start-ups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable". Samsung also announced that it had created a business unit within Harman to oversee autonomous driving.

Harman Chief Executive Officer Dinesh Paliwal told Bloomberg that the unit will work on everything from algorithms to systems integration. "This strategic business unit demonstrates Samsung's and HARMAN's commitment to answer that call - to be the definitive partner for seamless and integrated technologies".

Rather than building a auto of its own, Samsung and Harmon plan to develop technologies that can be incorporated into vehicles from automakers.

Samsung has recently gained a license in Korea and California to test-run its software and hardware applications for self-driving vehicles. Samsung said it meant to lead the "future of automotive" with the audio and auto parts supplier.

The company had previously invested in automotive technology particularly automated driving startups such as AImotive, Renovo; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.

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