BMW EVs to Source Telematics System and Cockpit from Samsung

Samsung Electronics' 5G-enabled telematics control unit and digital cockpit. / photos courtesy of Samsung Electronics

The German automaker Bayerische Motoren Werke AG‘s (BMW) will utilize Samsung Electronics‘ 5G-enabled telematics system and digital cockpit for its new all-electric sports utility vehicle (SUV) iNEXT, which the carmaker plans to launch by next year.

Samsung Electronics recently showcased the 5G-based telematics control unit (TCU) at this year’s Consumers Electronics Show (CES) 2020 in Las Vegas. The South Korean smartphone maker co-developed the 5G-enabled TCU with its affiliate Harman, a global leader in home and connected car technology.

Vice president and Samsung’s auto parts division chief Park Jong-hwan said that BMW’s iNEXT would be the first vehicle to use Samsung’s 5G-enabled TCU system allowing for real-time connected car services. Park added during the CES 2020 that the commercialization of 5G TCU through the application of in-vehicle systems would be the first in the world.

The TCU is a primary component that collects and provides data that the drivers and passengers can readily use, allowing for 5G-based services such as real-time maps, video conferencing, game streaming, and advanced vehicle-to-vehicle (V2x) safety systems.

Samsung is also working with South Korea’s largest mobile carrier SK Telecom in a demonstration project that will test 5G TCU-powered public transportation such as taxis and buses in Seoul.

Park Jong-hwan stated that with the emergence of self-driving connected car technology, Harman could be a front leader in 5G-powered TCU in the automotive component industry, utilizing Samsung’s cutting-edge telecommunication, display, and semiconductor technologies.

Samsung Electronics also unveiled the 5G-powered Digital Cockpit 2020 edition, an automotive control platform that provides connected experiences for both drivers and passengers. Samsung also co-developed the platform with Harman.

The digital cockpit lets users enjoy various infotainment systems with its eight displays and eight cameras. The platform operates on Google’s Android operating system developed for vehicles. It also uses an artificial intelligence (AI) assistant, Bixby, and Samsung’s internet of things (IoT) platform SmartThings.

In April last year, Harman announced that it would supply digital cockpits to China-based electric vehicle manufacturer Beijing Electric Vehicle (BJEV).

The first luxury SUV model GV80 of Genesis, Hyundai Motor‘s luxury brand, will use Harman’s car audio system.

About James Jung

Senior Writer @KoreaTechToday

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