South Korean authorities have authorised Samsung to begin self driving car tests in the company’s home country.
The decision was made by the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport, and grants the electronics giant the chance to test their cars on regular infrastructure.
The move comes as the race for self-driving cars continues to accelerate, as just last week it was revealed that Apple had been given permission to perform its own car tests on California roads.
The ministry said: “Self-driving cars call for the collaboration of various cutting-edge technologies from the automobile, artificial intelligence and information communication sectors.”
Samsung, much like Apple, are focusing on building components, such as sensors and deep learning systems, to outfit the autonomous vehicles, as opposed to building the vehicles from the ground up.
The company announced that it would be creating a new team to work on these technologies was announced in 2015, but only stated that it was looking in to developing chips.
Since then the company acquired US automotive company Harman International for $8 billion, which Samsung said would greatly enhance their presence in the sector. In February they invested in 3D technology company, TatraVue, which can identify hazardous obstacles that are in the path of cars.
Samsung is the first electronics group to be granted permission to run self driving car tests on South Korean roads, though Hyundai was the first to gain approval in February 2016. Since then the South Korean government has issued over 20 approvals to different companies, including Kia.
Apple and Samsung are both seen as latecomers to race for self driving car technologies, as companies like Google’s Waymo, and Uber, have been developing the technology for several years. However, both Apple and Samsung have huge cash reserves that could help them play catch up.
The vehicle that Samsung will be using to test its components will be a Hyundai.