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Samsung enters autonomous vehicle race

Samsung has been cleared to test a self-driving car on the roads of Korea, according to The Korea Herald. The world’s largest smartphone maker joins about 20 other companies that have already won this privilege in South Korea, including Hyundai, which will make the car that Samsung will test.

The car’s sensors and modules will be developed by Samsung, which is one of the world’s largest chipmakers. The company is on track to sell about $60 billion worth of semiconductors this year, and is poised to surpass Intel as the world’s biggest chip supplier.

Samsung will be getting its autonomous vehicle onto the roads while archrival Apple is doing the same thing in Northern California. Google and Tesla have also been cleared to put autonomous vehicles onto U.S. roads. Most autonomous cars carry a human autopilot who can take over the controls if needed.

Last month, Samsung closed on its $8 billion purchase of Harman International. The Korean company said it wanted to acquire Harman’s telematics business because it foresees the market for automotive electronics reaching $100 billion by 2025.

“The reason they acquired us was because of our connected cars business,” said Nader Nanjiani, marketing director for IoT at Harman. “The real estate that Harman enjoyed on the dash of the car penetrated deeper into embedded computing. We have a huge business around telematics control.” In a presentation at the 2017 Enterprise IoT Summit, Nanjiani said the company’s connected car business booked about $4.6 billion in revenue last year, twice as much as Harman made selling speakers and headphones.

See Nanjiani’s presentation below.

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