By Suman Debnath | May 9, 2017 |12.15 a.m. | Pune, India
Another new day and another new player in the autonomous car battlefield. Samsung has got the approval from the South Korean authorities to test autonomous car in its country.
The South Korean tech giant is the world’s largest smartphone and television manufacturer and a dominating force in the consumer durables (CD) sector. As the importance of onboard artificial intelligence is increasing day by day Samsung have taken a very big step. Samsung is on the process of buying the American automotive technology company “Harman” for a giant amount of $8 billion US dollars. The tech giant is developing sensors and computing modules required for an autonomous vehicle to operate and has implemented it on a Hyundai.
Samsung may have shared the same likeness as Apple and Google but their intension is not making a whole car but will provide the driverless vehicles the needed sensors and most importantly it will provide the autonomous cars with artificial intelligence.
Automotive supplier Harman has specialized in developing software and components for connected cars, such as Wi-Fi and navigation systems. There is a very successful future ahead of them as cars become more and more automated. In the near future, when the manual car operation becomes a past story of wonder, they will be active to make the in car environment more technically luxurious for doing leisure activities. Harman has already cooperated with Swiss visionary carmaker Rinspeed on several self-driving concept vehicles that look more like a rolling living room than a car. For Samsung as a producer of chips and screens, it makes perfect sense to tap into that market as well.
The automotive sector, especially the autonomous segment has become a new trend for the tech giants. Starting from Google, Apple and now Samsung also have got into this segment. The future technology is not so easy to neglect. Artificial intelligence is the future. Right now most of the tech giants have their own artificial intelligence bot in the market which are also getting implemented on devices except their exclusive devices. For example: earlier this year Microsoft announced a new tech platform for automobiles. The new “connected vehicle” platform is based on its Azure cloud platform, leveraging Microsoft services including the Cortana voice-based assistant. With the new platform, Johnson said, “Microsoft’s cloud will do the heavy lifting by ingesting huge volumes of sensor and usage data from connected vehicles, and then helping automakers apply that data in powerful ways.” The system will incorporate Microsoft services including Cortana, Dynamics, Office 365, Power BI and Skype for Business. In a press conference at CES, Nissan CEO Carlos Ghosn said that the relationship with Microsoft will help make driving “more productive and seamless.” Nissan demonstrated Cortana integration in a concept video of what will be possible with the digital assistant. Asking “what is my schedule” surfaces the usual functionality of Cortana’s calendar integration, but Nissan also demonstrated the ability for Cortana to understand and suggest shortcuts to destinations, and even options to download new maps overnight. At one point in the demo, Cortana even asks “shall I engage auto park?”
South Korea is looking forward to become a hub for these kind of testing and developments. Samsung is one of those 20 companies who have asked permission for testing driverless cars. Samsung seems to be following the line of Google and Apple. The South Korean tech giant, rather than making a whole vehicle will only provide the necessary hardware and software required for an autonomous vehicle.
After noticing the empty place Hyundai has also hit the bulls eye. The vehicles will be provided by Hyundai as it is the first company to seek such permit.
Samsung hasn’t been very public when it was a matter of their vision in the automotive segment until last year when it announced that it was on the process of acquiring the American automotive technology company “Harman International” for a deal worth $8 billion US dollars. As Samsung is going into the automotive car segment it has set a huge growth opportunity for the company. As the number says the automotive semiconductor market will grow 5%, to near $33 billion next year (Research by Gartner Inc.)
The South Korean tech giant has always been diversifying its business into various segments. And let’s see whether its recent move to go into the driverless car segment in the long run is going to be conducive or not.