Qualcomm gets into higher gear with in-car connectivity

Revving up a programme in the sector that began in earnest after CES 2022, mobile technology firm Qualcomm has announced a slew of deals for connectivity services based on its Snapdragon platform with leading motor companies BMW, Jaguar Land Rover (JLR), Mercedes and Mahindra.

Qualcomm fundamentally sees the automotive arena as presenting a “tremendous” opportunity as it requires connectivity, intelligence and safety. The company added that its plan is to work with automotive OEMs and ecosystem partners in these segments to further accelerate the digital transformation of all vehicles on roads across the world.

With JLR, Qualcomm said it will bring 5G capabilities to select next-generation vehicles across its brands Range Rover, Defender, Discovery and Jaguar. As part of JLR’s efforts in building a sustainability-rich vision of its fleet, the technology collaboration will look to support advanced and integrated digital cockpit and infotainment systems in new vehicles.

At the heart of the offer is Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Auto 5G Modem-RF, deployed so that JLR can create modern in-vehicle experiences powered by what is described as “efficient and seamless” connectivity. Drivers and passengers will have direct, low-latency connectivity outside of the car, with vehicles connecting to each other and their surroundings for safer driving experiences, generating real-time data that can inform new connected-car services and higher levels of autonomy.

The Snapdragon Auto 5G Modem-RF is a key component of the Snapdragon Digital Chassis technology suite. Boasting “ultra-high speeds and ultra-low latency”, the platform is designed to power immersive in-vehicle and always-connected driving experiences. By using the Snapdragon Auto 5G Modem-RF system’s positioning, Wi-Fi technologies, and direct vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-roadside infrastructure (V2I) communications, JLR vehicles will be able to offer connected services for personalised and upgradable in-vehicle experiences.

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JLR vehicles with 5G connectivity based on Snapdragon Digital Chassis services are expected to be on the road in 2025.

Working with Bosch as the system integrator and tier-one supplier, the latest generation of Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms have also been implemented to help power the new Mercedes-Benz E-Class User Experience (MBUX) multimedia system running on the MBUX Superscreen, helping to deliver enhanced graphics and rich multimedia support. The Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will also look to enhance the MBUX’s high-resolution widescreen unit with touchscreen operation, navigational display and augmented reality technology, providing convenience and more enjoyment for occupants.

The Snapdragon Cockpit Platform’s pre-integrated support for Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.2 feature premium in-vehicle wireless connectivity, including hotspot and high-speed gaming. Mercedes-Benz E-Class Sedans are expected to use Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Connectivity Platforms for always-on and always-connected in-vehicle experiences, providing a high-bandwidth pipeline capable enough to support seamless multimedia streaming, over-the-air (OTA) updates, and multi-gigabit upload and download capabilities.

Said to be a pioneer in the SUV segment in India, Mahindra & Mahindra has inked a collaboration with Qualcomm to use the Snapdragon Digital Chassis Solution cloud-connected services platform to provide real-time data insights to enhance its upcoming range of vehicles, enhancing functionality and streamlining production.

As a core component of the cloud-connected services platform, Data Insights with edge diagnostics is designed to provide data-driven diagnostics to help Mahindra better understand and enhance how its SUVs will perform in real-world environments. It allows automakers to improve cost efficiencies by utilising actionable insights to correct errors and enhance user experiences.

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Using the software during pre-production vehicle testing, Mahindra will be able to gain real-time analysis of in-vehicle data to discover and correct errors, resulting in cost reduction and accelerated development processes. Mahindra will be the first global automaker to utilise Data Insights with edge diagnostics, which is available on the Snapdragon Digital Chassis platform.  

BMW Group and Qualcomm have now extended their technology collaboration beyond driver assistance and automated driving technologies, bringing the latest Snapdragon Digital Chassis Solution advancements to power BMW Group’s new vehicles for what the carmaker said will be safer, smarter and sophisticated experiences to drivers and passengers.

BMW is working with Qualcomm Technologies as the automaker’s systems services provider, to use the latest generation of the Snapdragon Cockpit Platform to power BMW Group’s in-vehicle experiences, as well as the Snapdragon Auto Connectivity Platforms for 5G connectivity to bring ultra-fast and seamless connectivity to vehicles with BMW iDrive generation “QuickSelect” and Operating Systems 8.5 and 9.

iDrive is designed to bring a new level of digital intelligence for convenience and safety, helping to enhance the BMW Intelligent Personal Safety Assistant’s capabilities with highly intuitive artificial intelligence features. These include in-car virtual assistance, natural language interactions between the vehicle and driver, in-cabin monitoring for contextual safety, and precise positioning for safer and smarter navigation.

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