Samsung and it’s subsidiaries made several announcements related to connected cars- the start of an autonomous/connected fund, remote over-the-air update software, new batteries and new partnerships.
Funding New Technology
Samsung established the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund, a new $300-million fund focused exclusively on the automotive market. The Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will focus on connected car and autonomous technologies, including smart sensors, machine vision, artificial intelligence, high-performance computing, connectivity solutions, automotive-grade safety solutions, security, and privacy.
In addition to the fund, HARMAN, which was acquired by Samsung earlier this year, has established a new Autonomous/ADAS Strategic Business Unit (SBU). The new HARMAN SBU, which will report to HARMAN’s Connected Car division, will work with the Samsung Strategy and Innovation Center (SSIC) Smart Machines team to develop key technologies for safer, smarter, connected vehicles. The SSIC Smart Machines team is an advanced automotive engineering group dedicated to enabling next-generation mobility solutions.
To address the increasing demand for integrated solutions, particularly those for automated driving, Samsung and HARMAN will focus on engineering, high-performance computing, sensor technologies, algorithms, artificial intelligence, as well as connectivity and cloud solutions that enable Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and automated driving.
Industry veteran John Absmeier has been appointed Senior Vice President of the new HARMAN SBU, and will also retain his current role as Vice President of Smart Machines for SSIC. As a leader in both organizations, John Absmeier will ensure seamless collaboration to bring Autonomous and ADAS solutions to the market.
The first strategic investment of the Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund will be in TTTech, a leader in functional safety, deterministic networking, real-time systems, and complex software integration for ADAS and automated driving platforms. Earlier investments by Samsung’s existing investment funds have included stakes in automotive startups, including AImotive and Renovo for automated driving; Quanergy, TetraVue, and Oculii for sensors; Autotalks and Valens for connectivity; and Graphcore for high-performance computing.
To date, Samsung has secured licenses for on-road testing of autonomous driving software and hardware under development in Korea and California. Samsung will not enter the car-manufacturing business, remaining focused on working with automakers and mobility enablers to develop the next generation of automotive innovation.
HARMAN’s Redbend Remote Vehicle Updating OTA
HARMAN International, announced the launch of HARMAN’s Remote Vehicle Updating OTA version 11 solution, based on technology HARMAN obtained through the acquisition of Redbend in 2015. Seventeen OEMs have chosen HARMAN’s OTA solution enabling 25 million vehicles, making it the only commercially deployed OTA option on the market.
The ability to update automotive software over-the-air has become a competitive advantage for OEMs for several reasons. First, the HARMAN OTA solution reduces the need for recalls by remotely addressing system malfunctions and security threats. In addition, OEMs can use the OTA solution to decrease time-to-market by updating software while the vehicle is still on the production line as well as offer consumers new features and functions post-sale, maintaining a direct connection between the OEM and the driver, increasing OEM brand awareness and customer loyalty.
HARMAN’s Remote Vehicle Updating offering is the only OTA solution that enables efficient full-vehicle management. The low footprint solution enables OTA updates and management of the whole car, from head units to the smallest ECUs, even those with low processing and memory resources. This solution was specifically built to eliminate failures, by coping with any potential risks, such as network problems, cyber security attacks and file tampering, providing OEMs with a secure and efficient way to mitigate risk and increase security and safety.
HARMAN’s solution leverages its unique Smart Delta technology which reduces the file update package up to 99 percent. This is accomplished by generating a small delta update file containing only the changes that were done in the software from previous version. This contributes greatly to network efficiency and cost, as well as minimizing the time it takes for the update to complete resulting in a positive customer experience.
In addition, HARMAN’s OTA solution enables manufacturing and logistics efficiencies for OEMs in several ways. For example, deploying the solution:
- At the production line – eliminates software flashing bottle necks
- During the shipping process – streamlines the software supply chain and eliminates dependencies
- At the dealer – makes the software update process much faster and reduces customer frustration
OTA version 11 also serves as the underlying infrastructure for HARMAN’s award winning automotive cloud solution, Ignite. Version 11 includes updates from earlier versions of the solution and features a new UI providing a more seamless user experience for OEMs. Additional updates include, the ability to:
- Update ECUs of any size or ECUs with limited resources – small to large updates can be made to the whole vehicle
- Support any platform of ECU (Linux, RTOS, AUTOSAR) and any BUS inside the vehicle (CAN Bus, Ethernet, MOST, LIN)
- Better protect the update process and allow for mitigation of risks during an update, network failure, or power failure
- Deploy on any OS with backend deployment available on any cloud or customer premise
- Update any type of software – firmware, operating systems, maps, configuration files and content
Samsung & TTTech
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. today announced a strategic partnership with TTTech, a global leader in the field of robust networking and safety controls. Along with this partnership, Samsung will also make a €75 million strategic investment in TTTech as the first investment from its recently-announced Samsung Automotive Innovation Fund (SAIF), and highlights the company’s commitment to bringing safer cars to the road and ushering in the next generation of mobility. It comes on the heels of Samsung’s $8 billion acquisition of HARMAN, a leader in connected car technology, and marks another significant step for the company in the automotive space.
TTTech has been active in the automotive space for years, providing technology to a variety of manufacturers. Samsung’s future investment complements TTTech’s longstanding partnership with AUDI AG and their combined efforts in highly automated piloted driving systems for Volkswagen Group. TTTech’s safety technologies power the zFAS piloted control platform in the 2017 Audi A8.
Beyond automotive, TTTech has improved the safety and reliability of networked computer systems in the aerospace and industrial sectors, with its technologies found in the Boeing 787 Dreamliner and NASA’s Orion spacecraft.
At a transformative moment for the auto industry, TTTech plans to use Samsung’s investment to accelerate the growth of its safety technology for autonomous driving and operations. The company’s collaborative and flexible technology—like its new open safety platform, MotionWise—enables OEMs and Tier-1 suppliers to accelerate the development, integration, and validation of new capabilities in their vehicles.
Together, Samsung and HARMAN are fostering the development of cutting-edge automotive safety technologies like those from TTTech, which will raise the bar for automotive safety controls and ADAS throughout the industry. HARMAN, a Tier 1 supplier, now makes TTTech’s open safety solutions available to the leading global automotive OEMs.
President Young Sohn will join Ricky Hudi, founder and managing director of Future Mobility Technologies, and other industry experts on TTTech Auto division’s new supervisory board.
New 4G/5G Tech from Samsung
At Mobile World Congress Americas, Samsung Electronics showcased its next generation portfolio comprised of a diverse range of 4G and 5G network solutions targeting the U.S. market during Mobile World Congress (MWC) Americas 2017 in San Francisco. The new solutions to be introduced include User Experience-centric solutions providing diverse tools for perceived experience analysis and automation, massive MIMO (multiple-input, multiple-output) and small cell products that help operators advance the capacity of their existing LTE networks, and 5G technologies that will open up new operator revenue streams. Samsung will also highlight live demonstrations of 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA), Citizens Broadband Radio Service (CBRS) and massive MIMO – technologies that are likely to be commercialized in the coming years in the U.S. market.
Using the complete 5G end-to-end solution announced earlier this year at 2017 Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, Samsung will be demonstrating, live, the deployment process and actual 5G FWA service being deployed in consumer homes as part of an active U.S. Tier 1 operator trial. Visitors will be able to experience – via Samsung Gear VR – a live 360- degree camera view of an apartment powered by 5G FWA service. With 5G FWA commercialization expected in the U.S. in 2018, Samsung will highlight the next wave of 5G use cases such as consumer mobility in sub-6GHz spectrum and 5G-powered autonomous vehicles.
Samsung Batteries in Packs, New Standards & Heights
At IAA Samsung SDI announced that it has exhibited various products which could lead the popularization of electric vehicles at the Frankfurt Motor Show.
“Multifunctional battery pack” of Samsung SDI attracted the most attention. Its users can change the number of modules as they want as if they place books on a shelf. For example, if 20 modules are installed in a premium car, it can go 600 to 700 kilometers. If 10 to 12 modules are mounted on a regular sedan, it can run up to 300 kilometers. This pack is expected to attract attention from automakers, because they can design a car whose mileage vary depending on how many modules of a single pack are installed.
Samsung SDI also displayed cells and modules based on the new 21700 standard of cylindrical battery. A ‘21700’ battery is 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters in height. Its capacity is 50 percent bigger than the existing 18650 battery. Its size is optimal for maximizing capacity, life and output simultaneously. The new battery beats batteries of any other size in light of cost competitiveness. A 21700 battery draws attention from major global manufacturers as the next-generation standard which can be applied to all sorts of products including electric vehicles, ESS and electric tools.
Another groundbreaking product Samsung SDI exhibited is “Low Height Cell.” This is a cell whose height has been reduced by more than 20 percent than that of other existing cells. If this cell is applied, it can decrease the battery load height in an EV. It raises interior space utilization, enabling automakers to develop EVs of various designs.
KDDI and Samsung Electronics recently announced the completion of a comprehensive set of 5G tests which demonstrate the viability and performance of 5G millimeter wave mobility solutions at speeds over 190km per hour which is the fastest record in the world. The successful results highlight the potential and capability of 5G to support a wide variety of future service scenarios.
The demonstration, which took place at ‘Everland SPEEDWAY’ in Korea, involved a battery of individual tests to examine the performance of Samsung’s end-to-end 5G mmWave technology. Specifically, as a vehicle accelerated from 0 to 205km per hour on the race track between multiple 5G base stations, the test measured and evaluated a variety of metrics, including handover interruption time, uplink and downlink throughput stability, and latency stability (or “jitter”).
In addition, KDDI and Samsung also demonstrated a successful handover scenario, with Samsung’s 5G device attaching to the 5G base station as it approached the service area, and successfully being handed over to the target cell at a speed of 192km per hour (GPS speed).