Samsung is Now Developing Self-Driving Car Technology
A prototype for Google’s autonomous car. (Image Credit: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images)
Samsung is planning to join the likes of Google and Tesla by entering the self-driving car market, the company has confirmed.
The South Korean company is looking to set up a team of engineers who will be focused upon developing components for autonomous vehicles, with this new venture designed to propel Samsung into the fledgling autonomous auto market as a way of expanding their avenues of revenue, following a decline in their smartphone sales. The intention is for Samsung to explore autonomous automobile technology, along with developing in-car entertainment and satellite navigation systems similar to what is offered by CarPlay, Apple’s in-car technology which also serves as a means of integrating the company’s other products and features such as the iPhone, Maps and Siri.
While Samsung still leads the smartphone market in terms of sales, its profits in this department have been declining due to budget Chinese smartphones and Apple’s continued rise in popularity. With the autonomous vehicle market growing exponentially over the past few years, bolstered by the likes of Google and their self-driving vehicle project and Tesla Motors’ own implementation of self-driving technology, Samsung is therefore looking to increase its fortunes by inserting itself into the autonomous vehicle and car parts businesses.
There have been calls for Samsung to enter this market for a long time, and though the company have expressed a clear interest in it by way of a number of US patents related to the technology, this is the first time that they have openly acknowledged that the company is moving in this direction. However, the lengthy product cycles of automobiles means that generating profits will be a more arduous task than Samsung experiences with its consumer electronics.
Though Samsung did not specify how many people will be a part of this automotive-focused team, the company announced that it has been headed up by Park Jong Hwan, the company’s executive vice president, and will operate outside of Samsung’s existing departments.
Samsung’s entered into car manufacturing in 1994, after a brief flirtation with the industry in 1985 that was impeded by the collapse of the Asian market. Their ’94 efforts saw them creating Samsung Motors, which proved to be a failure for the company and was ultimately bought out by Renault in 2000.