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Samsung gets DMV's OK to test autonomous cars in California

03 September 2017

Samsung Electronics has obtained permission to test autonomous vehicles in California, according to a list the State of California Department of Motor Vehicles updated on August 30.

Samsung Electronics previous year announced a deal to buy United States auto parts maker Harman International Industries for $8 billion in a bid to enter the growing market for automotive technology to produce "connected" cars.

A spokesperson for the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) said it allowed the autonomous drive test by Samsung Electronics' semiconductor division, saying it would be applied to three cars - one Toyota Prius and two Audi A3s.

The regulatory approval from the USA authority came three months after Samsung was allowed to run the same test on its home turf using software installed in Hyundai Motor vehicles. However, in a statement to Reuters, the tech company said: "Samsung has no plans to enter the car-manufacturing business". As with other technology companies in this arena, it is unlikely that Samsung will ever build its own vehicles to sell to the public, but will instead offer its technology to established vehicle manufacturers.

In May, Samsung received approval for testing in its home country, South Korea, using software adapted to Hyundai vehicles.

Back in May, it was reported that Samsung wanted to improve self-driving vehicles' capabilities through its plans to develop top-of-the-line sensors, AI-powered computer modules, and deep-learning technologies. In the next few years, parts of automotive industry may need to lean on tech expertise - and companies like Apple, Microsoft and Nvidia are quietly developing tech for when that happens.

Samsung gets DMV's OK to test autonomous cars in California