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Samsung steps up self-driving car technology push

Tech giant seeks to recruit researchers, incorporate Tizen into autonomous cars

Tech giant Samsung Electronics has been accelerating its push into the autonomous vehicle segment by trying to attract seasoned researchers in the field.

The company posted a job opening for researchers in the autonomous driving vehicle sector on Samsung Group’s online job bulletin board Tuesday.

Internet giant Google’s self-driving vehicle. (Yonhap)
Internet giant Google’s self-driving vehicle. (Yonhap)

The job description showed that new researchers would handle tasks including computer vision, biosignal analysis, and optical film for display, which market officials said are related to developing technologies that can drive and track unmanned cars without any network beacon or GPS sensor.

Those who hold a doctoral degree with a minimum three-year work experience or a master’s degree with six years of work experience or more are qualified to apply, according to the job posting.

Samsung will reportedly hire up to three new researchers this time.

Some experts said Samsung’s latest move is in line with its long-term initiative to develop driverless cars.

“Samsung should have jumped on the bandwagon earlier, utilizing its information technology,” said Jeong Gu-min, an engineering professor at Kookmin University, forecasting that it would speed up the pace to, possibly, develop autonomous cars incorporating its operating system Tizen, batteries and displays. The tech giant’s sister firms Samsung Display and Samsung SDI produce display and battery products for vehicles.

Some critics, however, dispelled rumors that the Korean firm is trying to roll out not only car components but also driverless cars anytime soon, saying Samsung would need more employees and researchers as well as production facilities.

NXP of the Netherlands, and Bosch of Germany reportedly have thousands of researchers for R&D in their autonomous car businesses.

The latest news of recruitment came after Samsung’s official announcement in December last year to jump into the fray for self-driving cars.

Samsung said at the time that it would set up a team devoted to developing next-generation auto parts.

The company said the unit would be run separately from its three business pillars -- mobile, electronics and electronic parts businesses.

Internet giant Google has long been testing its autonomous cars, which have been driving around in several states in the U.S.

Tech behemoth Apple is reportedly running the so-called Project Titan, in which it is testing high-end smart cars.

Global management consulting firm Boston Consulting Group anticipates that the sales of fully driverless vehicles will account for 12 million cars a year, or nearly 10 percent, of global vehicle sales by 2035.

Global chipmakers and auto components companies have been stepping up their efforts to take the upper hand in the global self-driving car business, joining hands with conventional gas-powered car manufacturers.

General Motors, Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volvo are among the manufacturers that have actively been involved in developing self-driving cars.

By Kim Young-won (wone0102@heraldcorp.com)
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