Samsung is known to have its fingers in many a pie. Its technology expertise stretches from smartphones, to smart TVs, to smart appliances, and soon, to smart cars. Yes, speculation suggests that Samsung is making a move into the automobile industry. But what's the motivation behind this decision and how is Samsung going to make it work?
Samsung has not made this official, but since August, it seems that Samsung and Fiat Chrysler have been in talks about a potential partnership. This may involve the purchase of Magneti Marelli, a subsidiary of Fiat Chrysler that specializes in parts, accessories and high-performance components.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the CEO of Fiat Chrysler, Sergio Marchionne, said the car industry is changing and that technology companies are entering the business of autonomous and electric cars. Fiat's position is that it would be better to have a partnership with such companies than trying to imitate them.
Samsung and its patents
If we look at the autonomous car market, we have Google and Apple who have been investing in this area for some time. In fact, the search giant has a great know-how in this sector, and Samsung, one of the biggest players in the tech world, also wants a slice of that market.
However, this wouldn't be Samsung's first step into the world of cars. In fact, according to an article published by Forbes, Samsung is the world leader in car-related patents.
Samsung has 510 patents on cars
According to Forbes, Samsung has 510 patents in this sector as of a year ago. After the South Korean manufacturer, we have Google, with 308, Microsoft, with 222, and then Apple with 83. In the last ten years, Samsung has filed far more of these patents than any other tech company. (Incidentally, Samsung's division for lithium-ion batteries, Samsung SDI, currently provides the batteries for green BMW models.)
What's next for Samsung?
Samsung is a company that invests in multiple technologies. Since 2015, the manufacturer has employed a team of researchers, developers and specialists to work exclusively in the smart car sector.
With Samsung taking a position in this industry, next to Apple and Google, this could open the door for other manufacturers like Chinese market giants Huawei and Xiaomi to follow. And with more competing companies, the power and sophistication of smart car tech will become better, faster.
Samsung's loyal following and its own software implementation like TouchWiz and, especially, Tizen could help the Korean manufacturer drive adoption of its car products. In the case of Tizen, we have seen Samsung show that it can combine software and hardware to great effect, as it has with its smartwatch. It could pull off something similar with the software implementation in smart cars.
With all of its patents, Samsung is well on its way to succeeding in the automobile world. The only question now is, when will it start?
What are your thoughts on Samsung and smart cars? Let us know in the comments.