Samsung’s investment in venture firms to dominate the smart car market in advance seems to nearly come to fruition. Samsung is expected to expand its business scope in the smart car electronic component market by combining the partnership with smart car tech venture firms and the competitiveness of Harman.
According to foreign news reports and industry sources on December 12, StoreDot, an Israel-based battery solutions startup which was invested in US$18 million (21.05 billion won) by Samsung Venture Investment Corporation, plans to release a next-generation solution for an electric vehicle that enables to travel 300 miles (480 km) on a 5 minute charge by 2020. The Israeli startup is developing a technology that can rapidly charge and store electricity using naturally occurring crystals that measure about 2nm in diameter.
During an interview with a U.S. auto media, StoreDot CEO Doron Myersdorf said, “It will take about three years to see cars using the technology on roads so we believe it will be commercialized starting from 2020. However, we will be able to this infrastructure next year again.”
Some expect that some premium sports car manufacturers will apply the quick charging technology to their cars, including the Porsche Mission E concept car to be launched in 2020. Porsche first revealed the Mission E concept at the Frankfurt auto show last year and said the supercar will have a driving range of more than 500 km per charge and 80 percent of its battery can be charged in 15 minutes. .
Moreover, NuTonomy, a leading self-driving car software developer which was also invested in US$3.6 million (4.21 billion won) by Samsung Venture Investment, has been testing autonomous vehicles on the roads in Boston from the end of last month to the end of the year. The U.S. startup, which already started testing a driverless taxi service in Singapore in April, attracted new investment of US$1.6 million (18.71 billion won) in May and it will additionally receive more than doubled investment at the first half of next year.
Samsung is aggressively making an investment in smart car venture firms, such as Quanergy Systems, an autonomous vehicle LiDAR sensor maker, and Vinli, a smart car infotainment system software developer, as well as actively expanding its business areas by acquiring Harman after Viv Labs.
In addition, Samsung has been providing mobile car management solutions to logistics delivery service providers in the U.S. even before the takeover of Harman, seeking to expand its smart car business areas.
An official from the industry said, “When securing both the competitiveness in manufacturing parts, including semiconductors, displays and batteries, and the competitiveness in software, like Viv Labs, Samsung will be able to provide total smart car electronic parts solutions with Harman’s networks.”