Published: Fri, September 15, 2017
Technology | By Timothy Carter

Samsung Establishes $300M Smart Car Fund

Samsung Establishes $300M Smart Car Fund

This fund will primarily be used to support startups to help them experiment in the auto sector.

The first funding worth 75 million euros (US$89 million) will go to Austria's TTTech, a global leader on advanced driver assistance systems, more widely known as ADAS. In addition, Audi has also invested in the same firm.

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. "The Autonomous/ADAS SBU and automotive fund reflect the company's commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration".

Samsung has been among those companies which are aggressively pursuing the vehicle business as it considers it as its new hardware.

The South Korean giant is gearing to up its presence in the self-driving vehicle domain. Together, the two groups will focus on developing technologies that underlie self-driving systems, including high-performance computers, sensors and artificial intelligence. It has become quite evident that every aspect of the vehicle business will be driven through technology.

TTTech has a diverse portfolio as it develops systems for road, air and aerospace. It has also developed systems for planes and spacecraft.

Samsung has accelerated its involvement in automative technology but says it won't be building its own self-driving cars. TTTech has been working on this project with Audi already.

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 vehicle ownership, in-car systems, and how cars will be operated are all getting disrupted and updated through technology. This is a seminal moment for Samsung.

"There is already a high demand for ADAS solutions, and that demand is rapidly growing with the advancements in connected cars and autonomous driving", Harman President and CEO Dinesh Paliwal said in a statement.

Outlining its objectives Samsung said its goal was to foster technologies that "make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience", but is at pains to stress that it has no intention of building a self-driving auto of its own.

"This strategic business unit demonstrates our commitment to answer that call and as a collective force and will combine our resources and networks".

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