Tech Giants Break into Automotive
It's 2016 and we all love our gadgets. Whether it's our smartphone, tablet, or Internet connected . . . well everything, today we can't seem to get enough of technology. This article is great news for those who love cars AND the latest tech as Samsung and LG are both getting involved in the automotive industry. “Automotive will ultimately be the next big thing in the information technology sector,” said Kim Do-kyun, one of Samsung Electronics’ memory division at the Mobile & IoT forum in Seoul. “It’s just a matter of time.”
The majority of news swirling around automotive technology has been on autonomous vehicles. But did you ever stop for a moment and think about what we'll be doing with all this free time on our hands? The office commute will free nearly 2 hours per day for some drivers, time, which needs to be spent doing something. “In the long term, autonomous driving will be a game changer for bringing in new lifestyle,” Kim said. “In the short and medium term, there are opportunities from infotainment, advanced driver assistance system, telematics. DRAM capacity for automobiles will catch up with that of smartphones from 2017.”
Samsung has been the leader in this area as they see the auto industry converging with their business model. In fact, Samsung is currently in talks with Fiat Chrysler to buy auto parts maker Magnetti Marelli for about $3 billion. According to recent reports, automotive electronics are worth about $10.6 billion per year as an industry and that figure is expected to increase. There seems to be no better company than Samsung to get in on this trend as they offer everything from smartphones to appliances, integrating each with the newest technology as they bring new products to market.
“Samsung Electronics is fostering future growth engine through merger and acquisition strategies. Automobile electronics is expected to lead (Samsung’s) future growth business,” said Soh Hyun-cheol, a senior analyst from Shinhan Investment Corp.
Samsung is not the only company looking to cash in on recent trends. LG Electronics is working with General Motors to mass produce eleven components key to the new Chevy Bolt. These include infotainment systems, motors, and inverters. LG opened an entirely separate campus in Seoul 3 years ago to meet this growing demand. “Automakers are very strict in terms of safety and form a long-term relationship, with only a few qualified parts suppliers due to safety concerns,” an LG Electronics official said. “That’s why it takes more time for us to generate tangible results in the business. We are still in the investment phase.”
Whatever the future holds, it promises to connect the car more deeply to every part of our daily lives. We're excited for these breakthroughs as technology moves forward and will be there every step of the way.