Samsung has received approval to test self-driving vehicles in South Korea and will begin with a “Hyundai equipped with the latest cameras and sensors,” according to The Korean Herald.
Little is known about Samsung’s intentions at this time. The move comes a few weeks after Apple received similar approval to test self-driving vehicles in California.
Two years ago, the firm established a team to work on self-driving tech, but did not say if it planned to enter the market or simply partner with others.
To test self-driving cars in the country, the company had to receive approval from the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, and Transport. Hyundai, Uber, and Toyota have all went through the same approval process before.
Samsung has declined to comment on the approval. It has also not said if it plans to expand the tests to Silicon Valley or Europe.
Samsung is new to cars
Like Apple, Samsung has no experience building vehicles. It does have more companies that it supplies components to, however, which may give them a better understanding of the hardware and software behind modern automotive technologies.
Samsung might see Apple’s move into automotive and self-driving as confirmation of the next battleground for tech companies. Google has been working on the technology for years and Uber, the ride-hailing giant, has started investing millions into its own driverless project.
The company has been embroiled in a national scandal in South Korea for the past few months, and while the approval might routine to Westerns, it may be perceived as the government continuing to give Samsung favors and access.