Samsung Creates $300M Autonomous Driving Fund

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Samsung isn't wasting any time: it has already committed to making a €75 million ($89.3 million) investment in Austria's TTTech Computertechnik AG.

In announcing the new unit, Samsung was careful to note that it won't enter the car-manufacturing business, positioning itself as non-threatening ally to automakers. To do this, the Korean firm has introduced a $300 million Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, which will support startups and other interesting projects in the automotive market. Together, the two groups will focus on developing technologies that underlie self-driving systems, including high-performance computers, sensors and artificial intelligence.

While Samsung might not seem the most obvious company to have a sizable automotive-related fund, there are more than a few connections.

Samsung's latest move builds on its recent $8 billion acquisition of auto and audio product maker Harman, but establishing a $300 million fund is not the only thing it announced. "The Autonomous/ADAS SBU and automotive fund reflect the company's commitment to the values of open innovation and collaboration". Samsung also has licences for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California. Chips and auto technology are areas Mr. The company's systems are used for big names like Boeing 787 Dreamliner and NASA's Orion.

The spinout previously received $55m of funding from Audi, semiconductor producer Infineon Technologies and industrial and power equipment manufacturer General Electric in early 2015. It also creates safety controls for the automotive industry. This is a seminal moment for Samsung.

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Samsung Electronics is setting up a new fund to invest in the automotive market.

In addition to the new fund, Samsung also said that it will now start to work in partnership with the connected vehicle technology firm Harman that it acquired for the princely sum of $8bn back in November of previous year in the form of the Harman Strategic Business Unit (SBU).

The demand is rapidly growing with the advancements in connected cars and autonomous driving.

"This strategic business unit demonstrates our commitment to answer that call and as a collective force and will combine our resources and networks".

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