Samsung explores automotive tech, in-car entertainment systems to stay afloat

Samsung is launching a group dedicated to automotive technology to compensate for falling smartphone sales.

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Samsung has announced the creation of a team dedicated to automotive technology including infotainment systems and autonomous driving.

The South Korean electronics giant said on Wednesday the team will work outside of existing business divisions and focus on developing car components suitable for the connected car industry today. As reported by Reuters, the firm will initially focus on in-car infotainment systems, satellite navigation and autonomous driving.

Samsung must diversify its business in order to stay strong and competitive in the future marketplace. In the same manner that PC sales and companies which focused on these products suffered with the emergence of mobile technology, smartphone and tablet sales are now sliding, which pushes companies such as Samsung and Apple to consider other avenues in which to generate revenue.

According to research firm IDC, worldwide smartphone sales growth is expected to slow to the single digits in 2016, the first time such figures have been recorded. The market exploded several years ago, but with any device that has a shelf life of several years, eventually falling consumer demand will slow down shipment rates.

Samsung is following rivals Apple and Google, which are already well on the road to developing solutions including infotainment systems for automakers. In addition, Google is sponsoring a well-known project which aims to develop the world's first fully autonomous car.

The company has appointed an executive from the consumer technology division to act as chief for the new business unit. Samsung also said the group will work with affiliates outside of the company.

It's surprising in a way that Samsung has taken so long to enter this market, considering its strength in chips, battery development and displays -- all components which could be used in modern vehicle solutions. However, these types of technology will not be a profit driver for the company anytime soon, as it will take time before products will pass testing and become adopted by partners in the automotive industry.

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