Sam­sung ties ro­bot-car ef­forts with Har­man af­ter US$8bil deal

The Star Malaysia - StarBiz - - Foreign News -

NEW YORK: Sam­sung Elec­tron­ics Co is up­ping its US$8bil bet on au­to­mo­tive tech­nol­ogy, form­ing a sep­a­rate busi­ness unit within Har­man to house au­ton­o­mous driv­ing prod­ucts and plow­ing US$300mil into a new fund in­vest­ing in star­tups in the space.

The au­ton­o­mous driv­ing unit will com­pete on ev­ery­thing from driv­ing al­go­rithms to sys­tems in­te­gra­tion, Di­nesh Pali­wal, Har­man’s chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer, said in a phone in­ter­view.

That will in­clude an ad­vanced-driver as­sis­tance plat­form with open soft­ware that al­lows out­side engi­neers to build prod­ucts off of it – a shot at Mo­bil­eye, which was ac­quired by In­tel Corp this year in a move that mir­rored Sam­sung’s au­to­mo­tive leap.

“Our in­dus­try is lit­er­ally scream­ing, say­ing, ‘We love Mo­bil­eye but we need an open plat­form’,” Pali­wal said. “Com­pe­ti­tion is the best thing ever. The auto in­dus­try wants us to do it and we think we have the ca­pac­ity and the fuel power.”

The South Korean smart­phone maker, which snapped up US-based Har­man In­ter­na­tional In­dus­tries Inc last year for US$8bil to el­bow its way into the hotly con­tested mar­ket for au­to­mo­tive tech, is bet­ting it can marry its con­sumer elec­tron­ics ex­per­tise with Har­man’s pres­ence in dash­boards all over the world.

If it works, it will be able to of­fer car­mak­ers a light­ning-quick con­nected sys­tem for info- tain­ment, map­ping, concierge ser­vices and au­ton­o­mous driv­ing – with­out the com­pet­i­tive anx­i­eties other tech giants like Ap­ple Inc or Al­pha­bet Inc’s Google tend to arouse.

John Ab­smeier, vice-pres­i­dent of smart ma­chines for the Sam­sung Strat­egy & In­no­va­tion Cen­ter and for­mer di­rec­tor of Del­phi Au­to­mo­tive Plc’s au­ton­o­mous ve­hi­cle project in Sil­i­con Valley, will lead the new unit, which was an­nounced yes­ter­day at the Frank­furt mo­tor show.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.