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.
Self-driving cars need AI, and we delivered big on AI at the GPU Technology Conference in Silicon Valley this week. During his keynote, NVIDIA founder and CEO Jensen Huang made a host of announcements that will change how the automotive industry designs, builds and drives its cars. Chief among these was the unveiling of Volta, the world's most advanced GPU architecture, which will fuel the forthcoming DRIVE PX Xavier AI car supercomputer. Xavier is a complete system-on-chip that integrates a next-generation CPU, Volta GPU and our new Tensor Cores. Huang also announced that Toyota, legendary for its high standards and priority on safety, has selected NVIDIA DRIVE PX for autonomous vehicles.
Rand Corporation reported in 2016 that autonomous cars would need to be tested over 11 billion miles in order to prove that they're better drivers than humans. With a fleet of a hundred cars running 24 hours a day, that would take 500 years, according to the report. That seems both improbable and impractical, so companies like Cognata are filling the autonomous vehicle testing void with virtual miles. The need to establish the reliability of autonomous vehicles in short order has prompted Emerge Innovation Capital, Maniv Mobility, and Airbus Ventures to invest $5 million in funding in Cognata. The company's simulation system uses artificial intelligence, deep learning, and computer vision to create a virtual environment for testing cars without drivers -- no roads required.