IT&Software

Samsung is investing $300m in autonomous driving, TTTech first to benefit

Samsung is investing $300m in autonomous driving, TTTech first to benefit

The fund's first strategic investment will be in TTTech, a safety-controls developer for autonomous systems.

Samsung has announced its new Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund - a $300 million investment venture that will enable the Korean tech giant to develop connected and autonomous vehicle systems. The new Harman SBU, which will report to its Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center Smart Machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. Harman was one of Samsung's acquisitions a year ago, worth $8 billion.

The South Korean giant is gearing to up its presence in the self-driving auto domain.

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.

Young Sohn, Samsung's president and chief strategy officer, told Reuters, "It's time to communicate our intent to enter the autonomous driving market", adding that the company has been "incubating this business for quite a while". It marks the fund's inaugural investment in a startup. Its technology was also applied to planes including the Boeing 787 and Nasa's Orion spacecraft. TTTech has been working on this project with Audi already.

"Automotive advances like autonomous controls and advanced driver assistance systems will have a profound impact on society-from transforming urban spaces to bringing mobility to aging populations". It will tackle everything from the algorithms that enable autonomous driving to hardware integration and more. Samsung stated that the planned investment will "complement" TTTech's partnership with the German auto giant, which provides a hint as to the motivation behind the new fund.

"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, in a statement.

"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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