Elon Musk meets Cybertruck's Tesla Vision camera kit supplier Samsung on autonomous driving chips
After the alleged meeting with Lucid execs on OLED display and battery supply, Samsung's Chairman Lee reportedly met with Tesla's CEO Elon Musk last Wednesday, reports Korean media. Mr. Lee was part of the presidential entourage that was recently on a state visit to the US where the Korean business delegation discussed opportunities with American companies.
While Lucid reportedly wanted to order 30-inch OLED displays for its electric vehicles from Samsung, in order to replace its current LCD 34-inchers, the reasoning behind Elon Musk's meeting is less clear. Samsung has plenty of EV components developed or in the pipeline, ranging from chips and cameras, through batteries, to automotive infotainment system screens, though.
Samsung is working on solid-state batteries, as well as LFP and 4680-style ones, for instance. Tesla, which is jonesing for 4680 cells now that Panasonic delayed their production yet again, may have been probing Samsung on how far along its development efforts are. LG is also said to be preparing its own 4680 batteries and even boasted that it may launch them earlier than Panasonic.
LG is now the sole supplier of dual-stack OLED displays for automotive applications, like the Mercedes EQS Hyperscreen, but Samsung has its own tandem technology in the works, so that might have been another topic of discussions between Musk and Lee.
Their first ever direct meeting, however, was held at Samsung's semiconductor research center in Silicon Valley, so Korean media claims that they have discussed FSD or other driver-assist chips. According to the Korean press agency, "Samsung and Tesla have been seeking partnerships in developing next-generation IT technologies, including chips for fully autonomous cars."
Samsung reportedly scooped up all of the Tesla Vision camera orders for the Cybertruck's Hardware 4.0 kit, outfitting it with more cameras of much higher resolution than Tesla used before. There are eight of those and they are rather expensive compared to Tesla Vision's current camera set that is split 60/40 in favor of LG as a component supplier.
Thus, deliveries to Tesla could turn out to be an important revenue stream for Samsung's Electro-Mechanics division whose chief recently stated that "for the past decade it has been smartphones and PCs, but the company is now preparing to ride the rise of automotive and automobile," when discussing Samsung's solid-state battery plans.