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Samsung creates $300 million autonomous vehicle fund

15 September, 2017, 00:37 | Author: Jan Cross
  • Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, puts $90M into TTTech

First to get some cash is TTTech, which will get 75m euros ($87m) to help fund its work on modular hardware platforms that run the company's ADAS and autonomous safety systems.

The Thursday announcement to invest in a partner company of Audi AG comes as the South Korean company completed its acquisition of Harman.

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. Tech companies like Apple, Google, Baidu (and Samsung) are also making large bets here, building autonomous cars of their own and also investing in and buying up talent to enhance those strategies.

The company added: "Samsung will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop the next generation of automotive innovation".

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Samsung Electronics' $8 million acquisition of Harman previous year was the largest merger in Korea's history. The fund will focus on areas such as machine vision and AI, connectivity, vehicle safety, and smart sensors; its initial investment will be in TTTech, an Austria-based networked safety controls specialist. The funds will not directly be used in the development of these products, instead the company will fund into different startups which, in turn, will come up with products.

"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 Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board, Harman. 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.

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.

"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. Together, the two groups will focus on developing technologies that underlie self-driving systems, including high-performance computers, sensors and artificial intelligence. "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".

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