Samsung secures self-driving car permit in California

Samsung plans to use the car to develop a self-driving car algorithm that could drive in adverse weather. (Reuters)
Updated 01 September 2017

Samsung secures self-driving car permit in California

CALIFORNIA: Samsung said on Thursday it has received a permit to test self-driving vehicles in California, marking the entry of the world’s largest smart phone maker four months after iPhone maker and arch rival Apple received a permit.
Its parent company in May secured permission from South Korean authorities to test a self-driving car fitted with its own sensors and software systems. At that time, South Korean officials said the company planned to use the car to develop a self-driving car algorithm that could drive in adverse weather.
In a statement to Reuters, Samsung did not say what precisely what it planned to test in the US but said it secured the permit “in pursuit of a smarter, safer transportation future.”
The company, part of a massive conglomerate that makes everything from washing machines to heavy machinery, said it has “no plans to enter the car-manufacturing business.”
With the foray into the US self-driving car landscape, Samsung will jostle with its friends and foes. Besides Apple, it will join Waymo, a division of Alphabet, which supplies the Android operating system that runs on Samsung’s phones.
Samsung has a range of other opportunities for growth in the self-driving car business. Earlier this year, the company closed its $8 billion (SR30 billion) purchase of car audio maker Harman International Industries, giving it a wide footprint in so-called connected car technologies.


UK retailer Debenhams goes into the red again

Updated 10 April 2020

UK retailer Debenhams goes into the red again

  • Debenhams’ 142 UK stores are closed with Britain in coronavirus lockdown

LONDON: British department store group Debenhams went into administration for the second time in 12 months on Thursday, seeking to protect itself from legal action by creditors during the coronavirus crisis that could have pushed it into liquidation.

With Britain in lockdown during the pandemic, Debenhams’ 142 UK stores are closed, while the majority of its 22,000 workers are being paid under the government’s furlough scheme. It continues to trade online.

The retailer went into administration for a first time in April last year, wiping out equity investors including Mike Ashley’s Sports Direct, and is now owned by a lenders consortium called Celine UK NewCo. 

Debenhams said administrators from FRP Advisory would work with the existing management team to get the UK business into a position to re-open and trade from as many stores as possible when restrictions are lifted by the government.

Chief Executive Stefaan Vansteenkiste said that he anticipated the firm’s owners and lenders would make additional funding available to fund the administration period.

However, the group’s business in Ireland looks doomed.

Debenhams said that it expected administrators to appoint a liquidator to the 11-store Irish operation, which employs 2,000.

The moves makes Debenhams the first major retail casualty of the health crisis in Ireland, where the government, as in the UK, has closed all non-essential shops.

Ireland on Monday reported a trebling of its unemployment rate to 16.5 percent with a further surge expected later in the month.

“We are desperately sorry not to be able to keep the Irish business operating but are faced with no alternative option in the current environment,” said Vansteenkiste.