Joining other tech giants in the connected car market is one of the world's largest smartphone makers, Samsung. The South Korean company is making a big push into the self-driving market with massive funding and a new Business Unit working exclusively on the project. Recently, Samsung revealed exciting news regarding its automotive strategy, including the launch of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund and its TTTech investment.

Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund

The $300-million fund will be allocated on connected car and autonomous technologies. Among these include artificial intelligence, automotive-grade safety solutions, connectivity solutions, high-performance computing, machine vision, privacy, safety solutions, security, and smart sensors.

To pursue these project goals and objectives, the company decided to make its first investment in TTTech worth $90 million.

TTTech is an Austrian company known for developing platforms and safety software for connected cars. This is the same company that powers the automatic safety and semi-autonomous capabilities of the 2017 Audi A8. Interestingly, Samsung is Audi's trusted brand in its infotainment systems and driver assistance features. With this investment, the smartphone maker also intends to work with the developer to create an infotainment system that will fully support autonomous vehicles across various industries.

California-approved

Samsung received approval to test self-driving cars in South Korea back in May. Recently, the tech giant got the signal to run similar tests on California's public roads.

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This has been confirmed on the list for Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. Other companies and automakers on the list include Apple, BMW, Bosch, Delphi, General Motors, Volkswagen, and Waymo. The go-ahead to test in California has some boundaries though as it maintains a San Jose outpost. In any case, the approval helps Samsung keep up with its tech rivals in the automotive space.

Strategic investments

In 2015, Samsung announced its new division that will focus on self-driving vehicle software. The company announced on Thursday that it is dedicating an entire business unit for developing autonomous technology. This move follows the acquisition of Harman, an audio technology that Samsung bought for $8 billion late last year. One of the goals of this unit is to create a top to a bottom technological platform that can be incorporated into cars. This platform will run everything from infotainment to self-driving capabilities.