Samsung has set aside $300 million to invest in automotive start-ups and autonomous driving technologies, according to The Financial Times. The firm will use its Automotive Innovation Fund to provide companies with the funding required to develop sensors, machine vision and safety solutions.
The first recipient of investment from the Automotive Innovation Fund will be TTTech, an Austrian technology company that provides software integration for automated driving platforms, which has already been working with Audi, specifically on the upcoming Audi 8, to create an automated driving platform.
Even though Samsung holds a license for on-road testing of autonomous vehicles in California and South Korea, it has no plans to enter the car manufacturing market. It is, instead, focusing on the software side of things, throwing money at (and acquiring) companies attempting to revolutionize the industry.
Samsung says its goal is to assist in the development of technology that can “make cars safer while creating a more comfortable and convenient mobility experience,” but obviously it won’t be doing that for free. Like any business-driven investor, it’s expecting a healthy return.