South Korean electronics manufacturer Samsung has shown no interest in building an autonomous vehicle, despite the frequent rumors of its main mobile rival Apple building an all-electric, autonomous car.
The firm has been supplying automakers for a few years with batteries, but hasn’t won most of the contracts. A similar struggle could happen in the self-driving market, with Nvidia ahead in AI and graphical processors, Nippon holding most the sensor market and Delphi and Mobileye working on an entire hardware and software solution for automakers.
To make up for lost ground, they might acquire Magneti Marelli, Fiat Chrysler’s components unit. Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne said that he has good relations with the South Korean conglomerate, and is hopeful that the two firms could reach a possible strategic agreement.
Samsung may have to submit to a strategic partnership with Fiat to secure the unit, but it will most likely be worth it for the customer list that Magneti Marelli holds. Once the manufacturer starts shipping components to automakers, it may find winning self-driving contracts a lot easier.
Samsung has homefront competition
At home, Samsung has to contend with Hyundai. The South Korean automaker plans to build its own components for self-driving cars and has signalled interest in testing autonomous vehicles in Michigan.
LG Electronics, Samsung’s local mobile and TV rival, also reached a deal with General Motors to supply components for the Chevrolet Bolt, which could lead to further component agreements.
Samsung does not have the same hold on the market like it does in mobile, where it supplies millions of displays, processors, and sensors to manufacturers across the globe. In order for it to have that control, it needs to make self-driving a priority as soon as possible.