Samsung Electronics has discontinued its research and development (R&D) into autonomous driving, according to South Korean reports, following the lead of a number of global technology companies, including Apple, which have already pulled the plug on this segment.

According to the reports, Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology (SAIT), the division responsible for the electronics giant’s medium- and long-term technology development, this month deleted autonomous driving from its scheduled research projects with the company now prioritising research on robotics and other areas.

A number of global companies had slowed their investments into autonomous driving, or exited the segment altogether, as it had become increasingly evident it would take much longer than previously thought for fully self driving vehicles to be commercialised.

The self driving technology sector had come under increasing scrutiny in the US due to rising safety concerns following a number of accidents while Tesla last month was understood to have got the go ahead to trial its full self driving technology in China.

Earlier this year, Apple announced it was discontinuing development of its Apple Car while also closing down its special projects group responsible for autonomous electric vehicle research.

Hyundai Motor Group’s US based self-driving technology joint venture Motional recently decided to further delay the commercialisation of its autonomous driving partnerships with ride hailing companies Uber Technologies and Lyft while also laying off staff as part of the restructuring process to cut costs.

GM announced earlier this year it was reducing its investment budget for the its Cruise self driving programme while Ford had abandoned its Level 4 autonomous driving programme altogether.

Samsung Electronics had developed advanced semiconductors, displays and sensors for autonomous vehicles while its self driving system successfully completed a 200km (120 miles) section of road without driver intervention last year.