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Consumer electronics giant Samsung revealed that it has made a deal with Auto-tech firm Harman International Industries to take over their business including all the brands that they own. Harman currently owns some of the most popular brands in the Auto-tech and audio industry including JBL, Harman Kardon, Mark Levinson, AKG, Lexicon, Infinity, and Revel. The $8 billion deal will mark Samsung’s entry into the connected cars and IoT space. Samsung being the second largest electronics manufacturer in the world, this new addition will pave way to more technological innovations without doubt.
Samsung plans to use Harman as their platform for the expansion of its ‘Internet of things” and connected transportation market which is expected to have a growth of $100 billion by 2025. Being an innovative tech company by most measures, Samsung can make a significant impact in the upcoming IoT and connected cars era with the help of Harman’s expertise in the auto-tech industry. This hints at something bigger – cars are on the cusp of transformation to being the biggest consumer electronics devices.
More than 30 million vehicles are currently equipped with audio, infotainment, security, safety and telematics systems from Harman. Young Sohn, president and CSO of Samsung Electronics believes that the vehicles of tomorrow will turn into smart devices with advanced connectivity and artificial intelligence just like how feature phones turned into smartphones over the past decade. There are substantial long term opportunities for growth in the auto-tech market as vehicles make this transition. A connected vehicle can have benefits such as advanced navigation, driver assist and improved security, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. The actual possibilities are endless.
IoT technologies will have significant impact on how we travel and all the top notch tech companies including Google and Apple are working on self-driving cars. Hence, it makes sense for Samsung to acquire Harman and stay on track with their competitors. The Samsung-Harman deal will definitely create value for the IoT ecosystem considering both the companies have a stronghold on the technology required to make connected devices affordable and a common sight in the near future. It will also provide tremendous benefits to the transportation industry with technology to back driverless cars with advanced safety measures.
Smart cars now
Tesla’s models are equipped with technology that allows upgrading the cars wirelessly. In 2013, Tesla rolled out a software update to its model S cars that automatically adjusted the height of the cars while being driven at highway speeds. Imagine the hassle involved in this process if it were some other ordinary car without connectivity options. It is clear that Samsung wants to make it big in the connected cars and IoT space with the new acquisition. With Samsung’s expertise in semiconductors, mobility, user experience, display and distribution, the path to being a superpower in IoT enabled cars seems to be very short.
What the deal means to IoT and Transportation
IoT will be most useful in transportation considering how interconnected devices can improve the safety and security of vehicles. When cars are given the ability to communicate with each other on the roads with newer and more advanced technology, it could mean safer roads and less accidents. IoT is already making dramatic innovations in the transportation industry- Tesla’s autopilot mode is a great example. With the newly joined forces of electronics powerhouses Samsung and Harman, the expectations have gone up further. Very soon, cars and trucks would be smart devices with wheels attached to them.