Samsung Electronics expands efforts in autonomous tech: investment in TTTech, $300M fund, new business unit
Samsung Electronics announced a strategic partnership with TTTech, a global leader in the field of robust networking and safety controls. Along with this partnership, Samsung will also make a €75-million (US$89-million) strategic investment in TTTech as the first investment from its newly established $300-million Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund (SAIF). The new partnership and investment comes on the heels of Samsung’s $8-billion acquisition of HARMAN, a leader in connected car technology, and marks another significant step for the company in the automotive space.
Focused exclusively on the automotive market, the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will focus on connected car and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy. In addition to the fund, HARMAN, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU).
TTTech. Samsung joins Audi AG as a major investor in TTTech, which will develop new open-innovation platform for ADAS/AV systems; HARMAN will integrate this open platform offering to its innovative suite of solutions for OEMs worldwide.
TTTech has been active in the automotive space for years, providing technology to a variety of manufacturers. Samsung’s future investment complements TTTech’s longstanding partnership with Audi AG and their combined efforts in highly automated piloted driving systems for Volkswagen Group. TTTech’s safety technologies power the zFAS piloted control platform in the 2017 Audi A8.
Beyond automotive, TTTech has improved the safety and reliability of networked computer systems in the aerospace and industrial sectors, with its technologies found in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
TTTech has demonstrated a remarkable ability to innovate and build world-class technologies and platforms. This is a seminal moment for Samsung and our Automotive Innovation Fund, and we look forward to working with leading OEMs like Audi and the entire TTTech team to set a new standard for automotive-safety technology.—Young Sohn, President and Chief Strategy Officer of Samsung Electronics and Chairman of the Board for HARMAN
We’re excited about Samsung’s commitment to TTTech and the joint creation of new architecture for open autonomous and ADAS technologies, involving multiple key automotive players and suppliers.—Alejandro Vukotich, Vice President Autonomous Driving of Audi AG
TTTech plans to use Samsung’s investment to accelerate the growth of its safety technology for autonomous driving and operations. The company’s collaborative and flexible technology——like its new open safety platform, MotionWise—enables OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to accelerate the development, integration, and validation of new capabilities in their vehicles.
Business unit. HARMAN, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU). The new HARMAN SBU, which will report to HARMAN’s Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) Smart Machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. The SSIC Smart Machines team is an advanced automotive engineering group dedicated to enabling next-generation mobility solutions.
According to the World Health Organization, road injuries are among the top 10 causes of death worldwide. In the US alone, the most recent data suggests that there are more than 35,000 fatal crashes each year. Samsung’s goal in the automotive market is to tackle this challenge by bringing to market technologies, from sensors to data-processing solutions, that will help make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience.
To address the increasing demand for integrated solutions, particularly those for automated driving, Samsung and HARMAN will focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies, algorithms, artificial intelligence, as well as connectivity and cloud solutions that enable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving.
Industry veteran John Absmeier has been appointed Senior Vice President of the new HARMAN SBU, and will also retain his current role as Vice President of Smart Machines for SSIC. As a leader in both organizations, John Absmeier will ensure seamless collaboration to bring Autonomous and ADAS solutions to the market.
To date, Samsung has secured licenses for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California.