South Korean electronics giant Samsung and its acquisition Harman look to boost investments in automotive technologies and start-ups.
Samsung has announced it is setting up a $300 million investment fund, in order to push development of self-driving products and technologies and starting a new autonomous division at its subsidiary Harman International.
The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will focus on several connected auto and autonomous driving technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security and privacy.
One of the first investments the fund is making is in TTTech, a company that focuses on functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems and complex software integration for advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) and automated driving platforms.
Additionally, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS strategic business unit. This business will report to Harman’s connected car division, and will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) smart machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles.
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“There is already a high demand for ADAS solutions, and that demand is rapidly growing with the advancements in connected cars and autonomous driving,” said Dinesh Paliwal, president and CEO of Harman.
“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. It also reflects the incredible power that Samsung and Harman, as a collective force, will bring to our OEM customers as we combine Samsung’s scale and resources with Harman’s deep automotive experience and networks. Together, we are driving the future of automotive.”
Added Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics and chairman of Harman: “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.”
“In partnership with OEMs and start-ups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable,” he added.
Read more: Samsung to start testing self-driving cars in South Korea