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CES 2024: Samsung gets into gear with Tesla, Hyundai

CE giant unveils at leading tech event connected vehicle offerings for two of the leading global auto manufacturers, with particular emphasis on smart energy savings

Samsung has announced a partnership with automotive majors Tesla and Hyundai to take connected vehicle technology to a higher level.

As Samsung’s vice-chairman, CEO and head of its device eXperience (DX) division, Jong-Hee Han kicked off the Korean tech giant’s presence at CES 2024 under the theme AI for All: Connectivity in the Age of AI.

At the packed press conference, Han said the firm’s strategy would be based around three pillars: AI for society; AI for devices; and AI for experiences. He assured that Samsung’s portfolio of devices along with the pursuit of open collaboration will help bring AI and hyperconnectivity to all.

The partnership with Hyundai Motor Group will see Samsung Electronics expand its SmartThings platform to support connected cars, including electric vehicles (EVs).

The announcement came after the companies signed a memorandum of understanding to develop services for future lifestyles that fully integrate the smart home and connected cars. The two companies will work together for the next-generation smart home to connect Samsung’s SmartThings with Hyundai and Kia’s connected cars, including EVs, to develop the Home-to-Car and Car-to-Home services, as well as an integrated home energy management service.

The Home-to-Car and Car-to-Home services connect the smart home with in-vehicle infotainment systems, allowing for remote control in both directions. Through the SmartThings platform, users will be able to perform a variety of actions pertaining to their cars while at home – starting them, controlling smart air conditioning, opening and closing windows, and checking their charging status. And from cars, the control of home appliances such as TVs, air conditioners and EV chargers will also be possible.

“This collaboration will enable communication from Home-to-Car and integrated home energy management services that are optimised for future lifestyles,” said Samsung Electronics executive vice-president Chanwoo Park. “By connecting the SmartThings platform with vehicles, we’ll be able to significantly enhance the customer experience in both the home and the car.”

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Users will be able to adjust their environments with SmartThings by simultaneously operating multiple devices – including vehicles – through routines such as “good morning routine” and “arriving home routine”. When users are ready to go out for work, the user’s car will adjust itself to an ideal temperature. Also, the smartphone and TV screens will display information such as the EV’s remaining battery and driving range.

The integrated home energy management service will also allow users to monitor how much energy is consumed by the connected devices in their homes. Energy information of their EVs and chargers will also be available, enabling users to adjust the optimal time for charging their vehicles. EVs connected to the integrated home energy management service offer the possibility of automatically setting the optimal time for charging by factoring in different pricing by a variety of criteria.

Meanwhile, Samsung also showcased a service integration with Tesla that will connect SmartThings Energy to the manufacturer’s products, such as Powerwall home battery, Solar Inverter, Wall Connector charging services and electric vehicles.

Made possible through Tesla’s open application programming interfaces, the collaboration is designed to result in the further expansion of Energy’s level of connectivity and contribute to Samsung’s ultimate goal of enabling more convenient, seamless home experiences for consumers.

The key benefit of the collaboration is said to be in allowing SmartThings Energy to connect to Tesla Powerwall, Solar Inverter, Wall Connector charging and EVs, allowing SmartThings Energy to display information relating to users’ energy production, storage and usage.

The companies also believe consumers will be able to better prepare for power disruptions and outages through SmartThings Energy’s ability to sync with the Tesla app’s Powerwall Storm Watch function. This means that in the case of extreme weather events such as typhoons or heavy snowfall, users can be alerted through SmartThings on their connected Samsung TVs and mobiles in addition to the Tesla app.

They can also activate AI Energy Mode before and during power outages to extend the remaining backup energy stored in Tesla Powerwall.

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