The union of consumer giant Samsung Electronics Co. and automotive leader Harman International Industries will speed up developments in future vehicle infotainment products.
Samsung, the South Korean colossus of cellphones, TVs and memory chips, last week said it has agreed to acquire Harman -- one of the auto industry's largest suppliers of media and communications components -- for $8 billion. The merger gives Samsung a strong foothold in the automotive industry, which it has attempted to enter with electric vehicles and batteries in past years.
But it also spotlights two trends that could shape the auto industry: Consumer electronics companies want to become big players in the business. And consumer technologies are promising to advance what vehicles and their drivers can do on the road.