Samsung is the newest player in the self-driving vehicle business

Samsung's new autos unit will focus on developing core technologies while Harman will market and integrate these for auto makers Sohn said. — Reuters

The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will concentrate on connected auto and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy.

Samsung Electronics said on September 14 it is setting up a fresh fund worth US$300 million to invest in autonomous driving technologies such as sensors, artificial and connectivity solutions and security. The new Harman unit will work with Samsung's Smart Machines team to develop new technologies for connected vehicles. A long partner of Audi AG, the tech company is also working with Volkswagen Group to develop self-driving systems.

"Together we will build products to support new NCAP requirements, solutions for in-vehicle infotainment systems, and new scalable architectures to support fully autonomous vehicles across various industries", Stefan Poledna, Member of the Board at TTTech, said of the partnership with Samsung. The spinout is working on networked safety control systems that help make industrial and transport electronics systems safer and more reliable. It marks the fund's inaugural investment in a startup.

While Samsung might not seem the most obvious company to have a sizable automotive-related fund, there are more than a few connections.

On top of that, the Korean tech giant is establishing a new autonomous driving unit within Harman, the United States auto parts supplier it acquired earlier this year.

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".

"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.

TTTech has expertise over a wide range of services including "functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration" for autonomous and other automated systems.

"This strategic business unit demonstrates our commitment to answer that call and as a collective force and will combine our resources and networks".

Across South Korea and California Samsung has already secured driving licences for autonomous vehicle testing.

Rather than building a auto of its own, Samsung and Harmon plan to develop technologies that can be incorporated into vehicles from automakers.

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