Innovation

Samsung Merges Into Self-Driving Cars Lane

Samsung announced news that it received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California — just four months after rival Apple received its own permit.

In May, Samsung’s parent company was granted permission from South Korean authorities to test a self-driving car equipped with its own sensors and software systems. The company said it planned to develop a self-driving car algorithm that could drive in adverse weather.

In a statement to Reuters, Samsung did not reveal what it was going to test in the United States, but that it secured the permit “in pursuit of a smarter, safer transportation future.” But the company went on to say that it has “no plans to enter the car manufacturing business.”

Samsung does have other opportunities for growth in the self-driving car business. Earlier this year, the company acquired car audio maker Harman International Industries for $8 billion, giving it a footprint in connected car technologies.

But it will face some stiff competition. In April, Apple secured a self-driving road test permit from the California DMV. The new permit will reportedly allow the company to test the technology in three Lexus RX 450h models, a luxury hybrid SUV. Apple has been tight-lipped about its car-based project, code-named “Project Titan,” since rumors and reports of its existence began in 2015.

With its entry into self-driving technology, Samsung will also join Waymo, a division of Alphabet, Inc., which supplies the Android operating system that runs on Samsung’s phones.

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