Samsung seems to be locked in an eternal battle with Apple, and it looks like it’s not just confined to the smartphone or tablet arena, either. According to a new update on California’s Department of Motor Vehicles website, Samsung has just been granted permission to test driverless cars.
The California DMV’s website features an updated list of companies approved to test driverless technology, and it includes carmakers such as Mercedes, Tesla, BMW and Honda – but it also includes tech heavyweights such as Nvidia, Apple, and now Samsung.
But if you think this means Samsung is going to make its own Apple Car, you’re going to be disappointed for two reasons. Firstly, Apple isn’t even making a car – and secondly, Samsung probably isn’t going to make one either.
Earlier this year, Tim Cook revealed Apple was more interested in developing autonomous technology than it was on building an entire car itself – and it’s likely that Samsung is doing the same. In the next few years, parts of automotive industry may need to lean on tech expertise – and companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia are quietly developing tech for when that happens.
The South Korean tech giant may not develop its own car, but it will probably develop driverless systems that will be used and bought by other car manufacturers – especially those that don’t have the R&D budget to develop their tech own in-house.
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Samsung is already been active in the self-driving sector, and worked on a project with Hyundai earlier this year to embed sensors into one of its cars. That project took place in South Korea, and wasn’t as much promoted as you’d expect. That’s pretty much set the trend for most of Samsung’s automotive ambitions.
Last year Samsung bought Harman – one of the largest suppliers of automotive technology in the world alongside Bosch – and the South Korean company is now ready use that platform to launch into the automotive world. This permit to test driverless cars in California is only the beginning.