Qualcomm Automotive Investor Day: here is the future of cars, connected and technological

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The Qualcomm roadmap & egrave; to bring the technology developed by the company, today strong in the world of consumer electronics, in all segments, starting from that of smartphones up to the industrial and automotive world.

The technologies that attract attention are those of 5G, where Qualcomm has achieved excellent results with speed; peak of 10 Gbps in download and 3.5 Gbps in upload, and energy saving, an ever-current issue that must clash with the greater computational demand from smart devices. The company has always had an approach devoted to favoring connectivity; and to create SoCs that do not aim for raw power in absolute terms, but maximize the power/consumption ratio.

The other frontier of development is that of artificial intelligence, where today Qualcomm has the highest peak performance and an architecture scalable from less than 1 TOPS to 400 TOPS in order to meet different requirements: if on the one hand, artificial intelligence in the automotive and autonomous driving world requires high-performance hardware & quot; under the hood & quot ;, on the other hand AI also means making & quot; smart & quot; devices that do not have particular needs, such as small accessories in the home which, through sensors, can then process routines and learn from the user's habits.

HOW THE CAR CHANGES

The expansion of semi-autonomous driving on a mass level, especially after 2022 and the new European safety obligations, already has; given a huge acceleration to collaborations between the traditional automotive world and tech companies like Qualcomm. The new architectures, then, will transform the car into a platform for hardware and software services that will inevitably lead to a direct relationship between manufacturers and customers, without the filter of dealers or intermediaries.


Qualcomm is positioned with an answer to all these needs: connectivity & agrave; 4G/5G, WiFi and Bluetooth & egrave; already integrated into Snapdragon platforms, the manufacturer also offers a complete and modular ADAS solution in collaboration with different brands, as well as enabling computer vision via cameras, radar and lidar, and in addition to providing a platform for artificial intelligence that serves for the most important functions; evolved autonomous driving.

Snapdragon Digital Chassis & egrave; the all-encompassing platform for the automotive world: compared to the mobile solution, the one that many use on our smartphones, the automotive world has a much more implementation; complex. When we talk about integrated solutions we can imagine a chip to be installed on a device, something “ ready to use '' and that it doesn't require too much work to implement. Actually, the work between the various OEMs and Qualcomm is; much more; tailoring : the teams of the automotive company, for example BMW, and those of Qualcomm, interface and work together for the development of the project.

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During the Automotive Investor Day, the first in the history of Qualcomm, Barra and Tavares, respectively under the command of General Motors and Stellantis, they intervened with a video confirming their partnership with Qualcomm which aims to become one of the dominant solutions in the automotive segment.

On the other hand, driven by what has been done by Tesla with its in-house developed and vertically integrated solution, many & quot; legacy automakers & quot; have been forced to accelerate not only on electrification, but also on digitalization and connectivity; of the cars.

Unlike Tesla and other companies, born as a software company and with great skills in the IT sector within them, the & quot; legacy & quot; they adopted a run-up approach, bringing in development teams that found themselves having to create new divisions from scratch within giants that moved like dinosaurs.

It is not; a case that more and more; automotive brands are turning to Qualcomm, a company that & egrave; managed to propose the right product at the right time, and which not only sells a hardware/software solution, but which is able to facilitate integration to more levels, depending on how advanced & egrave; the development of the car manufacturer on duty.

HOW TO RESOLVE THE CHIP CRISIS

Snapdragon car-to-cloud & egrave; the & quot; module & quot; dedicated to services related to connectivity; which must be omnipresent, constant and reliable. Smartphones have taught us this and, tomorrow, even the car must become capable of exploiting connectivity; as a commodity and not as something exclusive to be paid for as a privilege.

On the move connectivity starts with navigation, continues with the creation of a hotspot for passengers and with the possibility; to connect the smartphone. In most cars evolved, then, continues with security and automatic emergency call, with monitoring and management of the fleet and with the cellular-V2X to communicate with the infrastructure and other cars (and in the future also with pedestrians and objects).

While stationary , the car will use connectivity for OTA updates, or for communication with the charging infrastructure which, via powerline, will allow; to download in a short time a greater amount of data, for example, and this system, conceptually outdated in the age of & quot; all wireless & quot ;, will gain; land again thanks to electric cars, considering that with these the cable is; necessarily connected, wireless and protocols are not neededtogether with electrons, information can also pass .

Today they are more & ugrave; 250 million vehicles on the road equipped with connectivity; provided and enabled by Qualcomm.

Inside the car we find the Snapdragon Cockpit module which allows you to have a personalized experience with services such as the personal assistant integrated with our calendars, reality; augmented for navigation, predictive maintenance, entertainment on demand and personalized and multi-zone audio with microphones and speakers dedicated to each passenger. The next step, and therefore the news; that we will see on the new generation cars, & egrave; the one dedicated to the enhancement of productivity; driving and introducing games with 3D graphics (Volvo, Epic Games and Qualcomm showed a concept with Unreal Engine), triple A titles perhaps also equipped with multiplayer support and wireless peripherals.

Cadillac LYRIQ uses Qualcomm's Digital Chassis, including Snapdragon Cockpit platform, 4nm Snapdragon Ride for ADAS and connectivity modules? 4G and 5G

The use cases have passed from the system with the central screen, the one where we find the information about the car and some features; for entertainment, to the integrated digital instrumentation. The third generation added driver monitoring, rear seat entertainment, reality. increase, 360-degree viewing and screens for all passengers.

With the transition to the fourth generation, digital mirrors, computer vision, occupant monitoring and additional features arrive. safety.

To develop the services, for & ograve ;, the Snapdragon Cockpit is transformed today into an enabler of different ecosystems, able to support different applications, different app stores, different sources of entertainment and so on, not binding to a traditional structure (long development, little integrability), but creating a hardware and software base, a middleware and an environment where you can integrate easily and in a shorter time; short the software and platforms already; existing on other devices (PC, smartphone, TV and so on).

An example is; represented by Google with Android Automotive OS and the integration of its services into the operating system, brought to market for example by Volvo. Also Amazon , speaking at the conference, confirms the & quot; multi-channel & quot; strategy and speaks of & quot; ambient experience & quot ;: the voice commands allow you to interact at a more level; deep with the functions of the car, unlike in the past where there was no digital platform on which the Alexa bees could work by directly interrogating all the most important functions; deep of the car.

SNAPDRAGON RIDE: FROM ADAS TO AUTONOMOUS DRIVING Autonomous driving requires features such as precision positioning, 360-degree environmental recognition, and high-definition maps. Since electric is spreading, however, we need a platform that is powerful, that can be updated and that is able to learn with machine learning to respond to situations in real time and unexpected, all while avoiding consuming too much ( precious) energy.

Today Level 1 (here the definition of the SAE) is; become mandatory for safety and Level 2, very popular, allows you to add driving assistance. The current frontiers, available in the top of the range, are represented by Level 2+ and Level 3, those in which the vehicle is; designed to add convenience to safety and discharges the & quot; weight & quot; from the driver of some maneuvers such as changing lanes, stopping at a red light and so on.

The technologies enabling the higher levels, at Qualcomm, pass from software to hardware: the company supplies itself with solutions for graphics, CPU, drive policy, ISP, radar and lidar processing, arriving at the most serious cases; complexes like machine learning, virtualization, security, and updates.


In 2021, BMW selected Qualcomm to jointly develop Level 2, Level 2+ and Level 3 autonomous driving with the Snapdragon Ride Vision system and Snapdragon Ride SoCs. The passage & egrave; made possible, for Qualcomm, thanks to the acquisition of Arriver in October 2021, a company with which a partnership was initiated in January 2021

Today Snapdragon Ride Vision System supports ADAS from the 1 to level 3 and, in 2025, the results of the collaboration for Level 3 between Qualcomm and BMW will materialize with the launch of a new model.


The Automotive Investor Day & egrave; then it was an opportunity to put some stakes on the future. The company believes that in 2026 there will be a massive digitization associated with the adoption of advanced ADAS that will become mass and for everyone, significantly increasing driving safety. And the new frontiers? For Qualcomm there are excellent chances; to bring its platforms and know-how also to the world of motorcycles (today there are very few ADAS on two wheels), electric bikes and scooters.

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