It seems like every time we turn around another company is looking to test autonomous cars. Many of these firms want to test in California and the latest to land a permit to do that is Samsung Electronics. Samsung announced yesterday that it has been granted a permit to test autonomous cars in California.
Interestingly, its main smartphone rival, Apple, also has a permit for testing autonomous cars in California. Apple did recently shelve its autonomous car plans. Samsung’s parent company is already the holder of a permit to test self-driving cars in South Korea, the firm’s home country. Officials at the time that permit was granted said they intended to test an algorithm that allows the car to drive itself in adverse weather.
Samsung hasn’t said if it wants to test full on self-driving cars, algorithms, or related sensors in the US with its new permit. All it says so far is that it wants to pursue a “…smarter, faster transportation future.” Samsung has said it has no plans to become an automaker.
Many of the companies in the self-driving realm today aren’t automakers. They hope to create software and hardware that automakers will adopt. Some may also work on creating self-driving systems that can be installed on cars that didn’t come with the car from the get go.
The California DMV has published a full list of all the companies it has granted self-driving testing permit to, there are 39 companies total. Some of the names on that list are ones we all recognize like Tesla, VW, Mercedes, Honda, Ford, Subaru, NVIDIA, Apple, and others. Some are firms that none of us probably know like Zoox, Nuro, and Pony.AI. It’s good to see such a diverse array of firms working on self-driving cars.