finance.yahoo.com - 9 days ago
Samsung enters autonomous driving race with new business, funding
The logo of Samsung Electronics is seen at its office building in Seoul, South Korea, August 25, 2017.
REUTERS/Kim Hong-Ji By Eric Auchard FRANKFURT (Reuters) - South Korea's Samsung Electronics Co Ltd plans to become a major player in autonomous driving, building on its recent $8 billion acquisition of audio and auto parts supplier Harman and its pole position in mobile communications markets. Samsung is set to announce on Thursday at the Frankfurt Motor Show that it has set up an automotive strategic business unit for autonomous and advanced driver assistance services (ADAS), together with a $300 million fund to invest in automotive start-ups and technology. "It's time to communicate our intent to enter the autonomous driving market," Young Sohn, the company's president and chief strategy officer, told Reuters. "Samsung has been incubating this business for quite a while." The world's biggest maker of semiconductors by revenue, Samsung is a consumer electronics giant that leads markets in products as varied as phones and TVs, displays and memory chips. These assets, and the inside track with car makers provided by its Harman subsidiary, give it confidence to enter an increasingly crowded auto market with other top tech names, Sohn said. Samsung's two biggest rivals have also moved into the connected car market over the past year, at greater cost: Intel Corp paid $15.3 billion last month to acquire Mobileye, the current market leader in collision-detection ADAS software, while Qualcomm Inc is seeking regulatory approval for its $47 billion deal to buy NXP Semiconductors NV, the world's biggest maker of automotive-grade chips.
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