Samsung creates $300 million fund for autonomous driving technologies

- Adrian Ungureanu
1010

Samsung Electronics established the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a new $300-million fund focused exclusively on the automotive market. The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will focus 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, Harman, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU). The new Harman SBU, which will report to Harman’s Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) 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.

“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 of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board of 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.”

The first strategic investment of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will be in TTTech, a leader in functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration for ADAS and an automated driving platform. 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.

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.