Samsung secures self-driving car permit in California

With the foray into the US self-driving car landscape, Samsung joins Apple and Waymo


Reuters September 01, 2017
Samsung flags are set up at the main entrance to the Berlin fair ground before the IFA consumer electronics fair in Berlin, August 28, 2012. PHOTO: REUTERS

Samsung Electronics said on Thursday it has received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California, marking the entry of the world’s largest smart phone maker four months after iPhone maker and arch rival Apple received a permit.


Its parent company in May secured permission from South Korean authorities to test a self-driving car fitted with its own sensors and software systems. At that time, South Korean officials said the company planned to use the car to develop a self-driving car algorithm that could drive in adverse weather.


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In a statement to Reuters, Samsung did not say what precisely what it planned to test in the United States but said it secured the permit “in pursuit of a smarter, safer transportation future.”


The company, part of a massive conglomerate that makes everything from washing machines to heavy machinery, said it has “no plans to enter the car-manufacturing business.”


With the foray into the US self-driving car landscape, Samsung will jostle with its friends and foes. Besides Apple, it will join Waymo, a division of Alphabet, which supplies the Android operating system that runs on Samsung’s phones.


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Samsung has a range of other opportunities for growth in the self-driving car business. Earlier this year, the company closed its $8 billion purchase of car audio maker Harman International Industries, giving it a wide foot print in so-called connected car technologies.

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