Samsung Electronics has established a $300 million Automotive Innovation Fund, focused exclusively on the automotive market. The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will concentrate 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.
In addition to the fund, connected car technology company, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year for $8 billion, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit. The new Harman SBU, which will report to its Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center Smart Machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. The SSIC Smart Machines team is an advanced automotive engineering group dedicated to enabling next-generation mobility solutions.
The company has also announced a strategic partnership with networking and safety controls company TTTech and will invest $89 million as the first investment from its Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund. TTTech plans to use Samsung’s investment to accelerate the growth of its safety technology for autonomous driving and operations. TTTech claims that its collaborative and flexible technology like its new open safety platform, MotionWise that enables OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to accelerate the development, integration, and validation of new capabilities in their vehicles.
Samsung’s goal in the automotive market is to prevent road accidents by bringing to market technologies, from sensors to data-processing solutions that will help make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience.
“During this period of extraordinary transformation in the automotive industry, we are excited to play a leadership role in supporting and shaping the future of smarter, more connected vehicles,” said Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer, Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board, Harman.
“The Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit and automotive fund reflect the company’s commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration. In partnership with OEMs and startups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable.”
To address the increasing demand for integrated solutions, particularly those for automated driving, 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.
Both Samsung and HARMAN are fostering the development of cutting-edge automotive safety technologies like those from TTTech, which will enhance automotive safety controls and ADAS throughout the industry. Harman, which is a Tier 1 supplier, will now make TTTech’s open safety solutions available to the leading global automotive OEMs.
“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, Harman.
“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. It also reflects the incredible power that Samsung and HARMAN, as a collective force, will bring to our OEM customers as we combine Samsung’s scale and resources with HARMAN’s deep automotive experience and networks. Together, we are driving the future of automotive.”
John Absmeier, who is the Vice President of Smart Machines for SSIC, has been appointed Senior Vice President of the new HARMAN SBU and will ensure collaboration to bring Autonomous and ADAS solutions to the market.
To date, Samsung has secured licenses for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California. Samsung will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop the next generation of automotive innovation.
Earlier 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.