Building a technological product in today’s age requires us to provide it with a brain i.e some processing power. Qualcomm, who’s known to be the world’s largest chipmaker, has already disrupted the mobile and IoT ecosystem by providing support for a variety of devices. And now it is looking to expedite its efforts towards the development of connected car technologies.
For those unaware, Qualcomm is currently working on finalising the $30+ billion acquisition of automotive chipmaker NXP but has already shed light on initiatives that’ll heavily push it into the connected mobility space. This is one of the largest M&A deals of 2016, where NXP has agreed its buy out Qualcomm for $110 per share. The other being the acquisition of UK-based chipmaker ARM by Japanese tech behemoth SoftBank for $32 billion.
As for the initiatives, which were announced on stage at CES in Las Vegas, the chipmaker has talked about the creation of connected vehicle consortium that’ll work on vehicle communication trials, a Gigabit LTE modem for reliable high-speed connectivity and integration of chips in Volkswagen infotainment and telematic systems.
Connected Vehicle Consortium
Qualcomm has today announced that it is collaborating with Audi, Ericsson, SWARCO Traffic Systems and the University of Kaiserslautern to lead to the formation of a new consortium called ‘Connected Vehicle to Everything of Tomorrow (ConVeX).’ Uner this initiative, partners will work on carrying out the first Cellular-V2X (C-V2X) trial that will focus on Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) communication. This includes Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V), Vehicle-to-Infrastructure (V2I) and Vehicle-to-Pedestrian (V2P) direct communication.
Speaking about the launch, Nakul Duggal, vice president of product management, Qualcomm Technologies, says,
We are committed to an automotive vision, which supports a continually safer and more automated driving experience, to which sensors including V2X are integral. As automotive use cases will further drive mission-critical requirements like ultra low-latency and high reliability.
ConVeX will be co-funded by the participating organisations and the German Federal Ministry of Transportation and Digital Infrastructure (BMVI). The connected mobility trials will be conducted in Germany to demonstrate the need for future vehicles to work in sync with each other to avoid mishaps and accidents.
Gigabit Class LTE Modem
Since Qualcomm is planning to enable communication between vehicles, we require Snapdragon LTE modems to deliver high-speed, high-quality and reliable connectivity. The company is today unveiling a new set of advanced modem that’ll be required for advanced telematics and connected vehicle services. They’ve been designed to integrate a wide variety of wireless and networking technologies including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) supporting peak download speeds of 1 Gbps.
Talking about the same, Patrick Little, senior VP and GM, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, said,
Connected cars are becoming intelligent sensors on the road, not only using data for consumer use cases such as Wi-Fi hotspots and video streaming, but also collecting and transmitting critical, rich real-time information about road conditions, map updates and driver status.
This new LTE reference hardware platform is based on Qualcomm’s Snapdragon X16 modem and the company is currently working with its partners to commercialise their flagship device and further optimise 2-antenna and 4-antenna configurations.
Partnership with Volkswagen
Post the whole diesel emissions scandal which required Volkswagen to recall most of its vehicles and pay $3 billion in fines, the automaker is now looking to rehabilitate its brand image. It is already working towards the development of an electric car, a new mobility company in the form of Moia, and now a smart infotainment system.
Qualcomm is looking to integrate its Snapdragon 820 processors and X12 and X5 LTE modems within Volkswagen vehicles to deliver a rich and enhanced entertainment experience to the end user. It also plans to integrate the chips into the telematic systems of their cars to make it more secure.
Speaking over this partnership, Dr. Volkmar Tanneberger, head of electrical and electronic development, Volkswagen, said,
Utilizing Qualcomm Technologies’ expertise and leadership in mobile technologies, we look forward to having our next generation of automobiles feature highly advanced telematics and infotainment systems that support superior connectivity for the security and safety of our consumers.
Working towards the creation of a high-end travelling experience, the automaker is committed to providing users with connectivity mobile networks and smartphones. You’ll be to keep a check over the performance of your vehicle through an app, which provides quick glanceable info about the same.