Source: Samsung

The self-driving car space is getting more crowded with each passing month. Firstly, there were tech giants like Apple, Google (Waymo) in the race then the names of automakers like Tesla Motors, General Motors and other automakers came. Later, we heard about Uber, Didi and Baidu stepping in the race as well. Not much believable information is available about the autonomous car technology yet but we do hear some interesting news now and then.

Samsung is the first electronics company to start testing driverless cars

Recently, the name of another big technology company – Samsung Electronics Inc. – came in the self-driving space. According to recent reports, the Korea-based smartphone maker has received the approval to begin testing a self-driving car in South Korea. The smartphone making giant will be testing a car fitted with cameras and sensors, according a statement given by the government on Monday.

The tech giant will be using artificial intelligence (AI) to find how the car is dealing with bad weather conditions and other similar obstacles. There are many tech companies already working on the self-driving tech but the Korean smartphone maker is the first ‘electronics’ company to get the green light from the government to test a driverless vehicle on the roads of South Korea.

Previously, the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport has granted its approval to car making companies like Kia and Hyundai, and research and academic institutions. The Korean company has never hidden its interest in the self-driving car industry. In late 2015, the smartphone maker set up a business unit to focus on autonomous driving technology. The electronics company then spent over $8 billion in November last year to acquire the U.S. -based company Harman.  Harman develops software and components for connected cars.

Samsung has always been interested in the autonomous technology

Later in February this year, the smartphone making company invested its money in TetraVue. TetraVue is a company that develops 3D technology which identifies dangerous and unexpected hindrances in front of driverless cars.

Robin Zhu, a Hong Kong-based analyst with Bernstein, said, “The car has become the next big ‘mobile device’, where the tech industry now sees … opportunities.” He further said that several companies are now investing because everyone else (every other company) is doing it. Tech giants like Apple, Google, and Baidu; conventional automakers like Ford Motors and General Motors; and ride-hailing startups like Didi and Uber are now testing self-driving vehicles as well. The smartphone maker is focused more on developing technology for driverless vehicles and less on building its own tech. The tech giant said in a statement that it “has no plan to enter the car manufacturing business.”