Samsung Electronics are the latest company to announce that they have been elected to the board of the 5G Automotive Association Board, also known as 5GAA. In a statement released on the Samsung website today, the company said that they had been chosen for the position after elections were held on May 11 at the recent general meeting of 5GAA. The Director of 5G Technology Strategy in Samsung’s Next-Generation Communications Business Team, and Samsung’s elected representative on the Board, Dr. Jaeweon Cho, said, "I’m really excited to explore the potential opportunities here and help the 5GAA Board set its future direction.” Samsung also said that at the same time that they had been elected to join the 5GAA’s Working Group 4, which is responsible for exploring connected car-related standards and radio spectrum opportunities, and will serve as Vice-Chair.
The election of Samsung to the board of the 5GAA comes after the South Korean electronics giant completed their acquisition of Harman International Industries (HARMAN,) a company with extensive expertise in connected car technologies earlier in the year. The deal almost fell through when Robert Pine and a group of the company's shareholders launched legal action against the board and CEO of HARMAN. The shareholders were of the opinion that Samsung's bid of $8 billion was too low, even though the bid was 37% higher than the average monthly share price at the time.
The formation of the 5GAA was first announced on May 27, 2016, in a statement on their website and originally incorporated AUDI AG, BMW Group, Daimler AG, Ericsson, Huawei, Intel, Nokia, and Qualcomm Incorporated. Their aims were to develop, test, and promote communications solutions for connected mobility, and take car to x connectivity to a new level while addressing the concerns of road safety and other issues, such as reliability, high speed and low latency, which has the potential to transform the connected car space. Their partners on the project now include companies such as Daimler, Verizon, Vodafone, Panasonic, Sako Technologies Limited, Hirschmann Car Communication, and Keysight Technologies. Telefonica, the Spanish multinational broadband and telecommunications giant, who also own O2, Vivo and Movistar were also confirmed to be joining the 5GAA in a statement on 18 May.