The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund has an initial United States dollars 300 million, and its first investment is USD 75 million in TTtech, a specialist in the integration of automotive safety and control systems that works closely with Audi.
At the heart of the new business unit is Harman, the American connected vehicle company Samsung acquired in March for $8 billion. The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will concentrate on connected vehicle and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy.
In order to tap the largely growing market of smart automobiles, world's largest smartphone giant Samsung has made a decision to strongly focus on its automobile strategy.
Earlier this year, Samsung acquired Harman, an American company that produces auto navigation systems and auto technology that will allow multiple vehicles to communicate with each other. It also made it clear it will not enter the vehicle manufacturing business, electing to remain focused on working with existing automakers and mobility companies to help develop future automotive innovations.
Other than Samsung, TTTech has already generated an amount of $54 million from Audi, General Electric and Infineon.
To further access to new tech, Samsung is also creating a fund to invest in an array of technologies needed to enable self-driving and connected cars, from sensors and machine vision to artificial intelligence and security.
The bounty of cash is part of a new business unit called the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund.
"In partnership with [manufacturers] and start-ups, we will make the driver and passenger experience safer, more convenient, and more enjoyable". Previous investments have included automated driving startups AImotive, Renovo; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing, the company noted.
This is not Samsung's first move to invest in automotive tech. The demand is rapidly growing with the advancements in connected cars and autonomous driving.
A couple of weeks ago, Samsung received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California.
Still, the future is autonomous - at least, that's what we're meant to believe - and Samsung isn't sitting idle there.
TTTech has expertise over a wide range of services including "functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration" for autonomous and other automated systems.