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Samsung gets DMV's OK to test autonomous cars in California

The Korean conglomerate is joining the likes of Waymo on California roads.
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Bloomberg via Getty Images

The California DMV has just updated the list of companies that can test self-driving technologies in the state, and there's one notable addition: Samsung Electronics. In a statement, a company spokesperson confirmed that it's participating in California's Autonomous Vehicle Tester Program. However, he clarified that the Korean conglomerate still has "no plans to enter the car-manufacturing business." Samsung will instead continue to develop sensors that use its AI and deep learning software, as well as other components for autonomous vehicles.

Samsung first got a permit to test self-driving technologies in its home country earlier this year. The chaebol revealed then that it was planning to test the sensors and parts it's developing aboard a Hyundai car. It unfortunately didn't elaborate on what those components can do, but we might find out more details when the company starts testing them in California.

The number of companies testing on California roads is only bound to grow, especially now that the government is mulling on giving tech titans and automakers exceptions to federal safety rules. Next week, lawmakers are slated to vote on the SELF DRIVE Act that would prevent states from regulating autonomous vehicle designs. If it passes, companies like Waymo will be able to test 100,000 autonomous vehicles, though, in exchange they have to turn in more data to the feds.

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