Electronics giant Samsung is the latest company to get the go-ahead to test self-driving cars on California’s public roads.
That’s according to the list of companies who’ve agreed to the terms of the Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program from the California Department of Motor Vehicles, which was updated Wednesday. Samsung joins companies such as Apple, Bosch, Delphi, NVIDIA and Waymo, as well as automakers like BMW, General Motors, and Volkswagen.
In May, Samsung received approval to test cars in its home country of South Korea, using software adapted to Hyundai vehicles. That sounds odd because Samsung owns nearly 20 percent of Renault Samsung Motors, which is part of the Renault-Nissan alliance that’s the world’s fourth-largest auto producer. Nissan also has approval to test self-driving cars in California.
But in 2015, Samsung announced a new division that would focus on self-driving vehicle software, rather than the creation of the entire vehicle.
Samsung could be trying to keep up with its tech rivals in the automotive space, especially as Apple has shifted its focus from autonomous cars to autonomous systems. With the okay to test in California, where it maintains a San Jose outpost, Samsung could position itself to offer its technology to other companies, including an automaker.