The new autonomous driving investment comes after the South Korean company completed its acquisition of Harman, which makes car navigation systems and technology for cars to communicate with each other and infrastructure. Samsung also announced that it has created a business unit within Harman to oversee autonomous driving.
Samsung Electronics Co. says it will spend 75 million euro ($89 million) in TTTech, a Vienna, Austria-based company that provides technologies for auto networks and safety controls to Audi cars and others. The Thursday announcement to invest in a partner company of Audi AG comes as the South Korean company completed its acquisition of Harman. Samsung said it created a business unit at Harman to be tasked with autonomous driving and advanced driver assistance systems. Samsung's investment in TTTech is the first investment from its $300 million fund to strengthen its technology pool for autonomous driving, such as artificial intelligence and security. Samsung is the world's largest maker of memory chips and smartphones.
Intel Capital is making a new investment of more than $250 million into autonomous vehicles over the next two years, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich announced Tuesday at the LA Auto Show's AutoMobility conference. "You could say oil is the key technology that allowed the automotive world we know today," Krzanich wrote in a blog post coinciding with the event. "When it comes to the car of the future and automated driving experiences, however, data is literally the new oil. Data has the potential to radically change the way we think about the driving experience." Krzanich pointed to the several ways autonomous cars will collect data -- such as cameras, radar, sonar, GPS and LIDAR -- a projected each vehicle will generate around 4,000 GB (4 terabytes) of data a day.
At the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, South Korean automaker Hyundai shows off its self-driving car. Crowds gather to see a BMW concept vehicle at the BMW Group news conference Wednesday at CES in Las Vegas. LAS VEGAS -- Not that long ago, checking in on the state of self-driving car technology meant asking Google's engineers how they were doing. The search company was virtually alone on the autonomous car highway. But in the last four years, that road has gotten crowded.
Samsung has acquired Harman International Industries, an auto parts supplier best known by consumers for its Harman Kardon audio division. The $8 billion, all-cash deal is the largest in Samsung's history, and an unusual move for a company that normally develops tech in-house. It instantly makes Samsung a much bigger player in the connected and autonomous vehicle industry dominated by Google, Apple and automakers like Tesla, GM and Volvo. Harman CEO Dinesh Paliwal says that Samsung's displays, connectivity and processing tech is a good fit with his firm's automotive products. "Samsung is an ideal partner for Harman and this transaction will provide tremendous benefits to our automotive customers," he said in a press release.