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Samsung is investing R4 billion in autonomous driving technology

September 17, 2017

Samsung autonomous driving
Samsung invests in autonomous driving technology

Samsung is known around the world for its smartphones & tech products, but the company is actually a whole lot more than just a tech brand. The Samsung Group, as the parent conglomerate is known, is an extensive network of over 80 subsidiaries that produce various appliances, armoured vehicles, oil tankers, and even has an insurance company.

It is estimated that Samsung Group’s various affiliated companies account for almost 20% of the entire South Korean economy – most of that coming from the crown jewel, Samsung Electronics. No wonder then that in South Korea is referred to in some circles as ‘The Republic of Samsung’!

Samsung recently announced its intention to enter the autonomous vehicle market – and with an interest in almost every area of technology, their already vast scope is set to increase even further.

The company has stated that an initial fund of $300 million has been created to make a number of investments into auto and motoring related start-ups and technologies. The fund will exist within Samsung’s Harman division, a connected vehicle company Samsung acquired in March for $8 billion. Harman manufactures car infotainment systems, along with “connected car-safety” technologies, including rear-view cameras.

“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,” Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung, said in a statement.

Samsung does not plan to manufacture cars, the company said in its press release. Instead they will focus on connected car and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy.

It is still early days, but it is clear Samsung wants to get established in the technology powering the autonomous vehicles of the future, even though they won’t be building their own cars.

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