Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Samsung just got approval to test self-driving cars in South Korea

Samsung just got approval to test self-driving cars in South Korea
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The company logo is displayed at the Samsung news conference at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas January 7, 2013. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/File Photo Thomson Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) - Samsung has gotten permission from South Korean authorities to domestically test a driverless vehicle fitted with its electronic parts and software, as the tech giant aims to muscle into the automotive industry in search of a new growth driver.

The land ministry, in a statement issued on Monday, said the car is a modified version of a South Korean car maker's vehicle using Samsung's own components such as cameras as well as its artificial intelligence software.

The firm plans to use the car to develop a self-driving algorithm capable of driving in adverse weather conditions and next-generation components for autonomous cars, the ministry said.

"We would like to clarify that the company has no plan to enter the car manufacturing business," Samsung told Reuters in a separate statement on Tuesday, adding the vehicle will further its development of "deep learning algorithms for autonomous operations".

Samsung has identified the auto industry as a new source of growth as the market for its key products such as smartphones matures. It completed the $8 billion acquisition of Harman International Industries earlier this year, a move that analysts say may help Samsung scale up quickly by taking control of an automotive parts maker with a proven track record.

It may take years for the auto industry to become a big enough business to rival its mainstay memory chip and smartphone operations, however. Samsung has not clinched any major supply agreements with car makers yet.

(Reporting by Se Young Lee; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)

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May 2, 2017 at 10:01AM
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