Self-driving cars are being touted as the next big battleground for tech giants. After Google and Apple, which have been building their respective autonomous car projects, it is Samsung that has secured a permit to test its self-driving cars in California. The development was first spotted on the CA Department of Motor Vehicle‘s website. This comes a few months after Samsung was granted permission by its home country Korea to test autonomous vehicles. But a permit to run the same on state roads in Silicon Valley implies that Samsung is now in-your-face competition for Google’s Waymo and Apple’s untitled car project. Also Read - Samsung Galaxy Chromebook Go powered by Intel Jasper Lake Celeron processor revealedAlso Read - Samsung Odyssey G3, Odyssey G5, Odyssey G7 gaming monitors launched: Details here
Samsung has already revealed that it is equipping Hyundai cars with its own sensors and software systems. It maintains that it doesn’t want to manufacture its own vehicles something Google’s doing, but Apple’s not and will only develop the technology that fuels these driverless cars. It is not clear exactly what Samsung is planning to test on US roads, but it is “in pursuit of a smarter, safer transportation future,” the company told Reuters. In South Korea, Samsung was said to be testing an car algorithm that could self-drive in adverse weather. ALSO READ: Apple shifts focus from hardware to software in self-driving car project: Report Also Read - iPhone 12 Mini reaches end of production already, say rumours
Samsung, the world’s largest smartphone maker, set up its self-driving car division in 2015, and has made significant investments since then. It set up a team to build specialized components for self-driving cars. In October last year, Samsung acquired prominent car audio maker Harman International for $8 billion to gain “a significant presence in the large and rapidly growing market for connected technologies, particularly automotive electronics”. Despite owning a stake in automobile manufacturer Renault, Samsung is clear that it wants to build only the computer system in cars, and not the cars itself. ALSO READ: Microsoft to speed up China s self-driving tech with Baidu
The autonomous vehicle industry is still in its nascent stage. Google’s Waymo is possibly the most prepared self-driving vehicle to roll out for now. Several tech behemoths as well as automobile companies have either secured licenses or are in the process of doing so. Apple, Uber, Microsoft, Nissan, Samsung, Google among others are likely to battle it out in what is estimated to be a $7 trillion “passenger economy” by 2050. It would consist of consumer mobility, business-to-business mobility, and pilotless vehicle services, according to Strategy Analytics. It could even lead to a startup boom in automobile technology.