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Qualcomm reveals new connected vehicle platform

American semiconductor giant Qualcomm has unveiled a concept car featuring its new connected vehicle platform, which it says will support a digital cockpit and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) on a single chip.

It says the Snapdragon Ride Flex system-on-a-chip (SoC) platform will be the automotive industry’s “first scalable family of SoCs” to offer this capability, and will enter production in 2024.

The Ride Flex platform is a four nanometer SoC and an extended version of the original Snapdragon Ride released in 2020, and automakers will be able to employ it to offer various levels of functionality and performance through entry-level to premium vehicles.

Qualcomm says its concept car, revealed at this week’s CES tech convention in Las Vegas, highlights the technological capabilities of its Snapdragon Digital Chassis by using not only the new SoC but also Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms and Snapdragon Auto Connectivity Platforms.

The Flex SoC will support ADAS features such as autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control, lane-keep and parking assist, and automated driving in the form of highway autopilot.

Qualcomm’s next-generation cockpit will be developed in collaboration with American automotive technology supplier Visteon.

The Visteon SmartCore cockpit will integrate the expected cockpit features such as over-the-air upgradeable digital instrument clusters and Android infotainment with cloud-enabled navigation, radio, multimedia playback, and intelligent voice assistant applications.

Cameras are also used both internally and externally for surround vision and driver assistance, driver monitoring, and remote surveillance.

Qualcomm is working on using cloud data and face and voice recognition to support features like personalised infotainment, 3D navigation, and multiple cockpit displays.

“Visteon’s SmartCore software platform offers a complete solution to address the consumers’ demand for a user experience that matches their expectations,” said Sachin Lawande, president and CEO of Visteon.

“The combination with the Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will enable automakers to deliver advanced features and functions in their next generation cockpits quickly with production programs targeted for 2025.

“We are making it easier and more cost effective for automakers and Tier-1s to embrace the transition to an integrated, open, and scalable architecture across all vehicle tiers with our pre-integrated suite of hardware, software, and ADAS/AD stack solutions” said Nakul Duggal, general manager of automotive at Qualcomm.

Qualcomm has said that the Flex SoC is “now sampling with all major Tier-1 suppliers who are targeting for 2025 global production vehicles,” with BMW being one of the major manufacturers already signed up to use the chip technology in its ‘Neue Klasse’ of vehicles.

With a focus on the automotive industry as a key growth sector as automated and assisted driving continues to evolve, Qualcomm has said its order pipeline is worth over US$30 billion (A$44.3 billion).