Samsung eyes ‘smart car’ expansion

Samsung Electronics Co, which sells almost one of every three smartphones, wants to parlay that technology into automotive navigation and entertainment systems for an industry that makes more than 80 million vehicles a year.

Asia’s biggest technology company is pushing beyond the hardware that underpinned its growth as global demand weakens for high-end handsets. Samsung is attending the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas this week along with a record nine carmakers, including Audi AG and General Motors Co.

Businesses that reach from batteries and household appliances to memory chips, cameras and liquid-crystal displays provide components the Suwon, South Korea-based company can use inside automobiles. Samsung is partnering with Intel Corp on open-source software called Tizen that can run smartphones, tablets, televisions and car systems, and has garnered interest from automakers including Toyota Motor Corp, the world’s biggest.

“In the past, passengers just used cars for moving, but now they want to enjoy entertainment and access to the Internet,” said Lee Seung Woo, an analyst at IBK Securities Co in Seoul. “It’s like a gigantic smartphone on wheels.”

Among the applications Lee expects in the future from Samsung are windows made of transparent flat-panels that provide map displays and other information for people inside the car while still enabling full visibility. It also may use sensors to monitor passengers’ health, to select music to match a driver’s mood and to analyse traffic and suggest a better route, he said.

Source: Bangkok Post


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