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Samsung to test self-driving cars in California

Sept 02,2017
Samsung Electronics has obtained permission to test autonomous vehicles in California, according to a list the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles updated on Aug. 30.

The DMV has been accepting applications from various manufacturers, including traditional carmakers as well as tech firms, for the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program.

The regulatory approval from the U.S. authority came three months after Samsung was allowed to run the same test on its home turf using software installed in Hyundai Motor vehicles.

“The permission is mainly for developing autonomous driving software solutions,” said a Samsung spokesman, adding nothing has been confirmed about test-drive schedules.

A DMV spokesperson was quoted by the Financial Times as saying that Samsung’s permit, which was granted to its semiconductor division, covers three vehicles: a Toyota Prius and two Audi A3s.

Samsung declared in 2015 that it would push ahead with autonomous vehicles but denied allegations that it would enter the car manufacturing business again.

Samsung sold its bankrupt car division Samsung Motors to Renault back in 2000. It said it would instead focus on supplying software and sensors to other autonomous vehicle manufacturers. In a related move, Samsung completed in March the acquisition of Harman International, an American audio component behemoth for $8 billion.

Among global tech moguls, Alphabet, Google’s parent company, has been making headway with self-driving cars, going so far as to receive this month a patent for technology that would soften a car’s body in the event of a collision with a pedestrian. Apple, on the other hand, has recently put the brakes on its self-driving car project. The iPhone maker has been working on Project Titan since 2014, but it has shifted its original plan of building its own vehicle to creating software and hardware for other carmakers.


BY SEO JI-EUN [seo.jieun@joongang.co.kr]