Samsung gets permission to test autonomous software in South Korea
Government enables smartphone giant to start trialing self-driving cars on public roads, stepping up global competition.
Following a recent move from the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, the world’s largest producer of smartphones can now test driverless vehicles fitted with its electronic parts and software. On home soil. As reported in a Guardian article, Samsung is one of 20 companies to gain such permission in the country as the government attempts to establish a favorable environment for future technology development.
With key competitors, such as Apple, Google and Uber, already carrying out trials on public roads within the current U.S. legal framework, this is a significant decision – both for the company itself and for the growing rivalry between international firms.
While Uber uses Volvo SUVs and Google uses Lexus SUVs, Samsung is staying local by choosing Hyundai. In January this year, the Korean car manufacturer debuted their autonomous model at the CES in Las Vegas. Their aim is to offer self-driving vehicles to their customers in the foreseeable future. As outlined in the Guardian, the Hyundai vehicles working with Samsung will be kitted out with advanced sensors and machine-learning systems. “Samsung Electronics plans to develop algorithms, sensors and computer modules that will make a self-driving car that is reliable even in the worst weather conditions,” a Samsung spokesperson told Reuters.
According to Reuters, the company currently has no plans to enter the car manufacturing business. It is more focused on finding ways to enter the market via its technology. Earlier this year, Samsung acquired U.S. firm Harman – a company specialized in developing software and components for connected cars – for $8 billion.