Samsung Electronics is aggressively hiring software engineers who specialize in autonomous driving technologies, raising expectations that it will launch a new business unit in the field, according to industry sources on Monday.
The South Korean tech giant has been seeking experts in autonomous driving, an industry source said, with Samsung thought to be planning to kick-start the new business officially as early as 2019.
“Samsung is looking for working-level engineers with over five years of experience at global automotive companies to hire as part of a new team,” the source said.
The existing workforce dedicated to fields that can be connected with autonomous driving are being gathered under the company’s semiconductor division, with plans to hire more from the outside, according to sources.
Samsung has so far been denying rumors of creating a new business unit either for autonomous driving or vehicle components.
Samsung’s archrival LG Electronics, meanwhile, has created a new task force on autonomous driving solutions in the latest organizational restructuring.
Samsung is expected to unveil changes to its organizational structure, possibly on Tuesday, following its announcement of executive promotions on Thursday last week.
Digital Cockpit infotainment system by Samsung Electronics and Harman (Samsung Newsroom)
A unit for autonomous driving solutions could be part of the System LSI Business of the Device Solutions division, according to industry watchers.
Samsung’s System LSI Business makes application processors and image sensors for automobiles.
In addition to hardware development, the business has recently supplemented it software development workforce with around 200 engineers transferred from the Semiconductor R&D Center.
The large-scale workforce transition could indicate Samsung’s commitment to the new automotive business, according to industry officials.
The repositioned workforce and newly hired talents are expected to work on the commercialization of new chips for advanced driver-assistance systems for global automakers.
Samsung is reportedly on track to start mass production of system-on-chips for Tesla’s Model 3 slated to be launched in March.
Tesla had been looking for a new chip supplier after accidents that led to several deaths of Tesla owners who were using its Autopilot tool. The chip for Autopilot was supplied by Intel’s Mobileye.
“Samsung’s strict principle for a new business is to secure a market leader customer in order to preoccupy the leadership,” an industry official said. “With the Tesla deal, Samsung is officially in in the autonomous driving market.”
By Song Su-hyun (firstname.lastname@example.org)