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Samsung creates task force to develop chips for self-driving cars: report

Samsung Electronics has recently set up a new task force to develop chips for self-driving cars, a local news daily reported Sunday.

The decision came almost six months after the Korean tech giant launched a new separate team for automotive parts late last year under its chip business division.

Citing unnamed sources, the daily said the task force consists of researchers from the chip division’s system LSI unit that produces non-memory chips for mobile application processors and image sensors for cameras and TV displays. 

BMW’s i3 compact that can be controlled by Samsung’s smartwatch Gear S2 is displayed at an exhibition booth during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Samsung Electronics
BMW’s i3 compact that can be controlled by Samsung’s smartwatch Gear S2 is displayed at an exhibition booth during the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas in January. Samsung Electronics

Samsung, a specialist in batteries and chips, has made a big push on automotive parts in recent years. In December, a new team was set up to be overseen by the semiconductor business division that is under the leadership of vice chairman Kwon Oh-hyun, one of the company’s three co-CEOs.

The company is a sole battery supplier for BMW’s electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles. It has also recently secured a deal to supply chips for Audi’s upcoming models.

Last month, the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology said it would hire researchers to develop autonomous vehicle technologies such as driving assistant systems, 3-D mapping and machine learning.

The research center affiliated with Samsung works on technologies that could be commercialized within five to 10 years.

Market research firm IHS predicts sales of self-driving cars could surge from 230,000 vehicles in 2015 to 11.8 million by 2035. 

By Lee Ji-yoon (jylee@heraldcorp.com)
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