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Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Ride platform is first step toward self-driving cars

SAN DIEGO: After years of supplying Bluetooth and mobile connectivity to automakers, Qualcomm is pivoting towards security with its new Snapdragon Journey platform, which goals to deliver superior driver help options corresponding to automated parking, lane monitoring and freeway auto-pilot to automobiles as quickly as 2023.

Finally, the corporate believes its new Snapdragon Journey platform can function a basis for full-fledged self-driving vehicles.

Qualcomm introduced Snapdragon Journey on Jan 6 at CES, the huge shopper electronics present in Las Vegas. Its foray into security/autonomy methods pits it towards a number of massive rivals, together with Google-parent Alphabet-Waymo and Intel-Mobileye.

As well as, Telsa and different automakers have their very own in-house initiatives. Ford purchased synthetic intelligence startup Argo for US$1bil (RM4.07bil) to bolster its autonomous driving work. GM acquired Sidecar’s belongings, invested in Lyft and purchased autonomous know-how startup Cruise Automation.

Nonetheless, self-driving vehicles are doubtless years away from exhibiting up on roadways in vital numbers. Within the meantime, Qualcomm is betting that the Snapdragon Journey platform can scale back the complexity of present driver help and autonomous driving know-how with a complete software program suite, power-efficient {hardware}, laptop imaginative and prescient and different strategies to energy things like automated braking and site visitors signal recognition.

Snapdragon Journey consists of processor and accelerator chips, synthetic intelligence and sensor fusion applied sciences, in addition to what the corporate referred to as a pioneering “software program stack. It’s designed to be energy environment friendly, which is necessary as electrical automobiles change into extra widespread.

The computing {hardware} itself is comparatively small – concerning the dimension of a hardback e-book. The system is air cooled, so no followers or liquid-based cooling methods are wanted to forestall the chips from overheating within the car.

“Autonomous driving, in fact, is simply going to be transformative to the auto business,” mentioned Nakul Duggal, Qualcomm’s senior vice chairman for automotive product administration. “It will deliver the correct applied sciences – machine studying, sensors and actually superior capabilities – to the following technology of vehicles and I feel we have now a implausible start line.”

The corporate expects Snapdragon Journey {hardware} and software program can be obtainable to automakers and their suppliers for testing within the first half of this yr. The corporate hopes that automobiles with superior driver help options powered by Snapdragon Journey can be in manufacturing in 2023.

Qualcomm has lengthy sought to diversify its enterprise past smartphones. Final yr, it booked about US$600mil (RM2.44bil) in income from supplying wi-fi and laptop applied sciences to automakers. However it has US$7bil (RM28.53bil) in pending auto orders within the pipeline – up from US$5.5bil (RM22.42bil) a yr earlier. Thus far, 19 automakers have chosen the corporate’s infotainment applied sciences for automobiles.

Whereas no automakers have ordered Snapdragon Journey, the corporate expects that its expertise supplying connectivity, car diagnostics and infotainment applied sciences to auto firms will assist it achieve a foothold with its superior driver help/self-driving car platform.

“I do know our prospects who’ve been working with us in earlier areas are going to be very excited to see what we have now to supply” with Snapdragon Journey, mentioned Duggal.

GM on Monday pledged to work with Qualcomm on superior driver-assistance applied sciences. The 2 firms have carried out enterprise collectively for years, with Qualcomm supplying wi-fi connectivity for GM’s OnStar service.

“As we enter into a brand new period of innovation constructed on larger efficiency, low energy (computing) and synthetic intelligence, we’re very happy to be increasing our decade-long partnership with GM into digital cockpit and Superior Driver Help Programs,”Cristiano Amon, Qualcomm’s president, mentioned in a press release.

Two years in the past, Qualcomm acquired regulatory permission to check self-driving automobiles in San Diego County, with experimental runs occurring close to its Sorrento Mesa headquarters and on native highways. In October, a portion of Freeway 905 was shut down briefly so the corporate may check out three self-driving automobiles.

On high of Snapdragon Journey, Qualcomm additionally launched a safe Cloud-to-Automobile Service, which permits automakers to replace software program, future-proof the car, collect upkeep knowledge and probably supply new providers customized for the motive force.

The corporate additionally up to date a fledgling peer-to-peer know-how referred to as Mobile-Automobile-All the things, or C-V2X. It allows vehicles to speak instantly with different close by C-V2X enabled automobiles, stoplights and different good cities infrastructure at distances past line of sight.

The know-how will not be extensively deployed. However Qualcomm mentioned on Monday that greater than 10 auto business suppliers, a dozen good cities infrastructure suppliers and 11 different auto/good cities module outfits are able to roll out C-V2X know-how. – The San Diego Union-Tribune/Tribune Information Service

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