Samsung is making a big new investment into automotive technology. The company has announced a $300 million Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund. The fund will focus on areas such as machine vision and AI, connectivity, vehicle safety, and smart sensors; its initial investment will be in TTTech, an Austria-based networked safety controls specialist.
Meanwhile, Harman, the connected car parts maker acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit that will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center’s Smart Machines team to develop safety and AI technologies for connected cars. John Abdsmeier, VP of SSIC Smart Machines, will head the new Harman SBU.
The developments come soon after Samsung Research America’s Director of Standards & Technology, Mahfuzur Rahman, was elected President of the global Car Connectivity Consortium. It also arrives soon after China-based Baidu announced its ambitious Apollo program for smart car development, suggesting the emerging market is starting to see some serious competition.