Samsung launches $300M autonomous driving fund, places $90M into TTTech

    To not be outpaced within the related automotive market by different tech giants, in the present day the world’s largest smartphone maker, Samsung, introduced two main items of stories to take its automotive technique up a gear. It has launched the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a $300 million fund to again startups and different fascinating bets within the automotive market. And as a primary funding out of that fund, Samsung has put €75 million (almost $90 million) into TTTech, an Austria-based developer of platforms and security software program for related vehicles, alongside a corresponding funding from Audi.

    Along with this, Samsung additionally introduced a strategic initiative to develop connected-car know-how with Harman, the auto and audio product maker that it acquired last November for $eight billion.

    “Throughout this era of extraordinary transformation within the automotive business, we’re excited to play a management position in supporting and shaping the way forward for smarter, extra related automobiles,” mentioned Younger Sohn, President and Chief Technique Officer of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board of HARMAN, in a press release. “The Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Enterprise Unit and automotive fund mirror the corporate’s dedication to the values of open innovation and collaboration. In partnership with OEMs and startups, we’ll make the driving force and passenger expertise safer, extra handy, and extra satisfying.”

    Whereas giants like GM, Volkswagen and Toyota (amongst others) have historically dominated the automotive business, the subsequent wave of improvements that can form how we (and different issues) get from A to B is quick coming across the bend. This leaves all the things to play for, as automotive possession, in-car methods, and the way vehicles will probably be operated are all getting disrupted and up to date via know-how.

    That’s driving a big wave of funding. Automotive corporations like GM, Volkswagen, Daimler and lots of others are placing billions of in direction of backing a spread of startups which are constructing know-how and companies for that courageous new automotive future (a small handful of examples: GM investing $1 billion in Lyft, Volkswagen investing $180 million in sensible automotive tech maker Mobvoi, and Ford pumping $1 billion into Argo AI for self-driving tech). Automotive makers are additionally investing internally in their very own R&D to enhance that.

    Then there are the tech corporations: Apple, Google and Baidu are additionally making massive bets right here, constructing autonomous vehicles of their very own and in addition investing in and shopping for up expertise to reinforce these methods (not without hiccups, after all).

    Samsung is amongst those that are hoping to be on the forefront of those developments, trying on the automotive as the newest “” that it could construct and assist management.

    On the finish of August, the corporate acquired a allow to run self-driving automotive assessments in California, alongside an earlier allow that it obtained in Korea, and bulletins like in the present day’s will guarantee that they are going to haven’t simply their very own tech, however that of companions, to place into these automobiles.

    This isn’t Samsung’s first transfer to put money into automotive tech. Earlier investments have included automated driving startups AImotive, Renovo; QuanergyTetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing, the corporate famous.

    It doesn’t appear like there was a full spherical quantity disclosed for Samsung’s funding TTTech however we’re looking for out. Previous to in the present day, the startup had raised around $54 million, with backers together with Audi, Normal Electrical and Infineon — one other signal of the gamers which are hoping to have a seat on the desk (or behind the wheel, if we’re searching for a related metaphor) within the subsequent technology of automotive options.

    TTTech works on highway, air and aerospace methods — its methods are used within the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and NASA’s Orion — nevertheless it mentioned that Samsung’s funding will probably be used particularly to augment the work it has been doing with Audi on self-driving automotive methods for the Volkswagen Group (which owns Audi). That is about getting Samsung chips and different tools into vehicles, and the businesses are already exhibiting off how the outcomes will look:

    TTTech specialises throughout a spread of companies like “practical security, deterministic networking, real-time methods, and complicated software program integration” for autonomous and different automated methods, and its security tech powers the piloting program on the Audi 8.

    “Automotive advances like autonomous controls and superior driver help methods could have a profound affect on society—from remodeling city areas to bringing mobility to growing old populations.   At Samsung, we see it as our duty to put money into the applied sciences that can revolutionize the best way we reside, work, and join with each other,” mentioned Samsung’s Sohn. “TTTech has demonstrated a exceptional capability to innovate and construct world-class applied sciences and platforms. This can be a seminal second for Samsung and our Automotive Innovation Fund, and we stay up for working with main OEMs like Audi and your complete TTTech staff to set a brand new commonplace for automotive-safety know-how.”

    “There’s already a excessive demand for ADAS options, and that demand is quickly rising with the developments in related vehicles and autonomous driving,” mentioned Dinesh Paliwal, President and CEO of HARMAN, in a press release. “This strategic enterprise unit demonstrates Samsung’s and HARMAN’s dedication to reply that decision – to be the definitive companion for seamless and built-in applied sciences. It additionally displays the unbelievable energy that Samsung and HARMAN, as a collective pressure, will deliver to our OEM clients as we mix Samsung’s scale and sources with HARMAN’s deep automotive expertise and networks. Collectively, we’re driving the way forward for automotive.”

    HARMAN has named John Absmeier Senior Vice President of the unit, alongside his present place as VP of sensible machines.

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