Samsung's big bet on autonomous driving doesn't include building a vehicle

Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, puts $90M into TTTech

Samsung creates US$300m fund for self-driving car push

In the meantime, Samsung said its connected vehicle and in-car infotainment affiliate Harman has recently set up a new team, called Strategic Business Unit, which is dedicated exclusively to autonomous driving technologies and related driver assistance systems.

The electronics giant will use the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund to invest in startups related to a wide range of auto technology.

The South Korean smartphone maker, which snapped up USA -based Harman International Industries Inc. past year for $8 billion to elbow its way into the hotly contested market for automotive tech, is betting it can marry its consumer electronics expertise with Harman's presence in dashboards all over the world.

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"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.

Instead, it wants to "develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles". Samsung has pledged $300 million into the space.

"The Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit and automotive fund reflect the company's commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration".

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TTTech, a leader in "functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration" for autonomous and other automated systems, had already been working with Audi, specifically on the Audi 8. for ADAS and automated driving platforms.

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".

A couple of weeks ago, Samsung received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California. "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. At Samsung, we see it as our responsibility to invest in the technologies that will revolutionize the way we live, work, and connect with one another".

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Rather than building a auto of its own, Samsung and Harmon plan to develop technologies that can be incorporated into vehicles from automakers. Previous investments have included automated driving startups AImotive, Renovo; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing, the company noted.

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