Samsung establishes $300 million fund to focus on connected cars
Samsung said smart sensors, artificial intelligence and high-performance computing will be among the top priorities of the new fund
Samsung Electronics has unveiled the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a new $300 million pool which will focus exclusively on the automotive market. Samsung’s investment will put the focus on connected car and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy.
The first strategic investment of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will be in TTTech, which focuses on functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration for ADAS and automated driving platforms. Previous investments by Samsung’s existing investment funds have included stakes in automotive startups, including AImotive and Renovo for automated driving; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.
To date, Samsung has secured licenses for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California. Samsung also confirmed that it will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop innovative automotive solutions and technologies.
In addition to the fund, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS strategic business unit. This new unit, which will report to Harman’s connected car division, will work with the Samsung strategy and innovation center (SSIC) smart machines team to develop key technologies connected vehicles.
“In partnership with OEMs and startups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable,” said Young Sohn, president and chief strategy officer of Samsung Electronics and chairman of the board of Harman.
Samsung and Harman will focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies, algorithms, artificial intelligence, as well as connectivity and cloud solutions that enable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving.
“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.
Telia expands connected car platform in Sweden
In related news, Nordic telecoms operator Telia Sweden has expanded its Telia Sense connected car platform to the business fleet segment.
The platform offers a comprehensive solution with car control/management features and Wi-Fi connectivity, parking app, roadside assistance access and other functions. Patrik Granstrom, head of small and medium business at Telia, said that the company will continue to develop the platform with new features for businesses. Telia Sense was launched in Sweden in November 2016, and in Denmark earlier this year.