1. Samsung gets South Korea nod to test driverless car carrying its parts, software

Samsung gets South Korea nod to test driverless car carrying its parts, software

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has got permission from South Korean authorities to domestically test a driverless vehicle fitted with its electronic parts and software, as the tech giant aims to muscle into the automotive industry in search of a new growth driver.

By: | Seoul | Published: May 2, 2017 5:17 PM
The land ministry, in a statement issued on Monday, said the car is a modified version of a South Korean car maker’s vehicle using Samsung’s own components such as cameras as well as its artificial intelligence software. (Reuters)

Samsung Electronics Co Ltd has got permission from South Korean authorities to domestically test a driverless vehicle fitted with its electronic parts and software, as the tech giant aims to muscle into the automotive industry in search of a new growth driver. The land ministry, in a statement issued on Monday, said the car is a modified version of a South Korean car maker’s vehicle using Samsung’s own components such as cameras as well as its artificial intelligence software.

The firm plans to use the car to develop a self-driving algorithm capable of driving in adverse weather conditions and next-generation components for autonomous cars, the ministry said.

“We would like to clarify that the company has no plan to enter the car manufacturing business,” Samsung told Reuters in a separate statement on Tuesday, adding the vehicle will further its development of “deep learning algorithms for autonomous operations”.

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Samsung has identified the auto industry as a new source of growth as the market for its key products such as smartphones matures. It completed the $8 billion acquisition of Harman International Industries earlier this year, a move that analysts say may help Samsung scale up quickly by taking control of an automotive parts maker with a proven track record.

It may take years for the auto industry to become a big enough business to rival its mainstay memory chip and smartphone operations, however. Samsung has not clinched any major supply agreements with car makers yet.

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