Home Automotive Samsung testing self-driving software, not building cars

Samsung testing self-driving software, not building cars

Samsung Electronics has received permission from the South Korean Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport to test a self-driving car on public roads, but the company has denied that it is entering this market.

Instead, Samsung said in a statement that approval for the test run did not mean that it was making a self-driving car.

"The pilot run is being carried out for software and solution development for an autonomous car, nothing more," the company said, according to a report in the Korea Herald.

"It has nothing to do with devices development, but to test software and algorithm under development by Samsung."

The company said, for the test it would use Hyundai’s Grandeur sedan with laser scanning devices and radar, all made by other companies. This choice had been made because this model was widely used in South Korea.

The ministry said Samsung was currently developing a self-driving algorithm that could be depended on even in bad weather. It also planned to develop smart auto parts like computer modules and sensors which are manipulated using artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Last year, Samsung signed a deal with Tesla to manufacture processors for the autonomous vehicles built by the latter.

Samsung sold its bankrupt automobile unit Samsung Motors to Renault 17 years ago. Since then, it has said it would never re-enter the automobile market, but has an auto component division as part of its future growth strategy.

The South Korean conglomerate has acquired Harman, a US automotive company, for 10 trillion won (US$8.79 billion) and is said to be talking to Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to buy its auto parts affiliate Magneti Marelli.

Apple has obtained a permit to test vehicles in California while in Arizona, Alphabet’s Waymo is offering free rides and Uber is testing its self-driving vehicles.

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.