Samsung sets up $300M automotive fund, invests $89M in TTTech

300m investment fund speeds up Samsung autonomous car technology plans driving

300m investment fund speeds up Samsung autonomous car technology plans driving

As part of the new corporate structure, Harman researchers working on autonomous vehicle technologies will work together with their counterparts at the company's Strategy and Innovation Center, a research lab based in Silicon Valley, Samsung said.

Samsung Electronics has announced the launch of a $300m fund to invest in autonomous driving technology.

The South Korean smartphone maker, which snapped up US -based Harman International Industries Inc. previous year for $8 billion to elbow its way into the hotly contested market for automotive tech, is betting it can marry its consumer electronics expertise with Harman's presence in dashboards all over the world.

The funds would be used in developing hardware technologies and products like smart sensors, high performance computers, and technology related systems like those to be employed for connectivity and safety. It marks the fund's inaugural investment in a startup.

Samsung has had autonomous vehicle testing approved in some countries
Samsung has had autonomous vehicle testing approved in some countries

On top of that, the Korean tech giant is establishing a new autonomous driving unit within Harman, the USA auto parts supplier it acquired earlier this year.

"The [Harman SBU] fund reflects the company's commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration", said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung and chairman of the board of Harman. "In partnership with OEMs and startups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable". It also made it clear it will not enter the auto manufacturing business, electing to remain focused on working with existing automakers and mobility companies to help develop future automotive innovations.

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. At the end of August, the company received a permit to run self-driving auto tests in California, alongside an earlier permit that it got in Korea, and announcements like today's will make sure that they will have not just their own tech, but that of partners, to put into those vehicles.

It has a long-standing relationship with one of its investors, automotive manufacturer Audi, and has created automated driving systems for another carmaker, Volkswagen, which have been successfully piloted. 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. Together, the two groups will focus on developing technologies that underlie self-driving systems, including high-performance computers, sensors and artificial intelligence.

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