Samsung pumps $300m into autonomous driving fund

15 September, 2017, 00:38 | Author: Alicia Barber
  • Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, puts $90M into TTTech

The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will be geared toward furthering the development of related technologies such as sensors, machine vision and safety features required to make the autonomous vehicle dream become a reality. Based out of Austria, TTTech develops platforms and safety software for connected cars.

The South Korean company, known for its Galaxy smartphones, is launching a new unit dedicated to automotive tech. Harman manufactures auto infotainment systems, along with "connected car-safety" technologies, including rear-view cameras.

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

"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 Samsung chief strategy officer, Young Sohn.

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Samsung does not plan to manufacture cars, the company said in its press release. Samsung CEO Dinesh Paliwal said in a phone interview that the move will include an advanced-driver assistance platform with open source software.

In addition to the fund, connected auto technology company, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year for $8 billion, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit.

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. Samsung has entered into a strategic partnership with the networking and safety solutions company, and joins Audi as a major investor following an investment of €75m (£68m) to promote the development of safe autonomous vehicles. "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".

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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