Electronics giant Samsung has acquired a permit to test autonomous vehicles in California, according to a report by Reuters.
The company is spending $8 billion acquiring Harman, which makes in-car entertainment technology and other car components.
Harman is what is called a Tier 1 supplier to the automotive trade, which means that they are one of a relatively small group of companies which supply parts or systems directly to car manufacturers.
So the acquisition of Harman gave Samsung direct access to the automotive trade which it could use to supply its own, new technology.
However, the permit to test self-driving cars may not have much if anything to do with that, certainly at this stage.
In a statement to Reuters, Samsung says the permit was part of its plan to develop a “smarter, safer transportation future”.
It added that it has “no plans to enter the car-manufacturing business”.
Samsung is vying for the top spot in the global market for smartphone. In some accounting periods, it manages to sell more smartphones than Apple, which is also said to be developing autonomous car technology.
Like Apple, Samsung also manufactures computers and other electronics products. But unlike Apple, Samsung also makes heavy machinery and vehicles used in the mining and construction industries.
Samsung has been pictured by Reuters using a Renault single-seater car for some research and development work.