SEOUL, Sept 17 — Samsung Electronics is best known to most of us as one of the world’s leading manufacturers of mobile phones, tablets and televisions, but it's keen to continue expanding its portfolio into other areas. The South Korean giant is apparently now looking to become a big player in autonomous driving technology after its recent US$8 billion (RM33.54 billion) purchase of Harmon, the audio and automotive parts supplier.
The company has now issued a statement confirming its plans to form an entirely separate business unit based within Harmon to specifically deal with self-driving products and technology.
And the company is certainly putting its money where its mouth is by providing a fund of some US$300 million for investing in autonomous drive technology startups.
Samsung’s new autonomous driving division will look to compete in the market on every aspect from driving algorithms to systems integration. One thing Samsung is definitely going to be producing is an advanced-driver assistance platform using open software, which will let engineers from outside the company use it for developing and building their own products. That particular move looks like a direct shot at Mobileye, which was bought by Intel earlier this year in a move that is now being imitated by Samsung's leap in the motor industry.
Dinesh Paliwal, the CEO of Harman explained, “‘We love Mobileye but we need an open platform. Competition is the best thing ever. The auto industry wants us to do it and we think we have the capacity and the fuel.”
The purchase of Harman by Samsung last year was a move designed to increase Samsung’s presence in the valuable, but fiercely competitive automotive technology market. Harman already has a large presence in vehicle dashboards all around the globe, so Samsung's undeniable expertise and success in consumer electronics looks like a perfect fit.
If everything goes to plan, the new division should be able to offer vehicle manufacturers a lightning-fast connected system for infotainment, mapping, concierge services and autonomous driving. — AFP-Relaxnews