Samsung is getting serious about being the default chipmaker for self-driving cars, with a new report claiming the electronics giant has formed a task force charged with developing chips for autonomous vehicles. The Korea Herald cites a local daily newspaper that claims the task force has been built around researchers from Samsung’s semiconductor and sensor division, System LSI, and follows the creation of an automotive parts division late last year.
The new automotive department at Samsung was set up within the semiconductor division under the supervision of one of Samsung’s three CEOs, vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun. It followed hot on the heels of a partnership announcement between LG and GM. Samsung is already the sole provider of batteries for BMW’s electric and hybrid vehicles and has recently signed a chip-supply deal for Audi’s upcoming vehicles. Getting in on the first wave of autonomous vehicles seems to be the order of the day.
Samsung has been a little slow to embrace driverless cars, with Google, Tesla, Mobileye and STMicroelectronics doing a lot of the heavy lifting in the early stages of development. But with big announcements arriving thick and fast lately, autonomous vehicles are starting to attract a lot more attention.
Google has just inked a deal with Fiat Chrysler to provide Pacifica minivans for outfitting as self-driving cars and Volvo UK has announced it will have families in driverless cars on public roads by 2017. How quickly Samsung will generate results and just how heavily it is intending to invest in making chips for autonomous vehicles remains to be seen, but it looks like we may soon have a new player on the roads.
- We expect to hear a lot more about self-driving cars at Google I/O 2016.
What are your thoughts on driverless cars? When do you expect to own one?