Samsung has received approval to test its stand-alone cars on California roads. It seems that the South Korean firm is investing more and more seriously in the market of driverless vehicles.
After Apple, Bosch, Delphia, NVIDIA, Waymo, BMW, General Motors or even Volkswagen, it is Samsung’s turn to get permission to test its own cars on California roads. The California Department of Motor Vehicles’ Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program has just been updated to accommodate the South Korean electronics giant.
Last May, Samsung was allowed to test its unmanned cars in its home country, South Korea. Now, the firm will be able to do its tests in California, which suggests a commercialization in the years to come.
Samsung’s stand-alone vehicles are based on a modified version of the Hyundai software. By launching in this industry, Samsung will be able to compete with its main rivals, and in particular with Apple, which is preparing its Apple Car for a few years now.
Samsung plans to take its share of the cake in the stand-alone car market
At the latest news however, the Cupertino firm would have decided to abandon its car project to concentrate on the development of a software for autonomous vehicles. It is possible that Samsung is also considering selling its technology to a third-party automaker.
The fact that Samsung is investing in the field of autonomous cars may seem strange, as the Asian firm already owns 20% of Renault Samsung Motors , which is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance, fourth world leader in the automotive production market. By the way, Nissan also has permission to test its vehicles in California.
Anyway, the stand-alone car market is like the future battlefield of the high-tech giants, and Samsung cannot afford to stay on the sidelines. According to Elon Musk, unmanned cars will outnumber traditional cars within 10 years.
At present, this market seems to be dominated by Tesla, whose Tesla Model 3 is already pre-ordered and offers a self-driving mode. For the rest, it seems impossible to predict who will be the main market players when this technology is accessible to public.