Cars are a lot less mechanical these days and a car manufacturer is not a software company. OEMs need the help of a supplier a company that lives and breaths software. Cars are changing, OEMs need to do the same.
Qualcomm has a holistic approach to how they are looking at the car of today and tomorrow. Don Dahlmann and I got to sit down with Thomas Dannemann, Director of Product Marketing at Qualcomm CDMA to get a better understanding of their technology and their approach to autonomous drive and the future of mobility.
Until now OEMs looked to add new technologies simply by adding more and more CPUs to the car, this approach does not work anymore, hardware and software need to be looked at together. Holistically.
Qualcomm has four technology pillars, Telematics, the technology that connects the car to the internet. Part of that is the connectivity over WiFi and Bluetooth as well as V2X technology. The Digital Cockpit controls all the display’s inside the car and controls the user experience for the driver. Autonomous driving technology and all the technologies needed to make support it. Finally, we have the car-to-cloud business model where they offer new services and business models to the OEMs to keep the cars up to date.
Once the car is connected, automakers can continue to provide subscription services such as roadside assistance, software updates, video streaming, upgrade or provide new features on a customer need basis. These car-to-cloud services will provide new revenue streams for the automotive industry and look to improve the driver experience.
The car is a mobile device, a smartphone on wheels. Qualcomm’s Digital Chassis centralizes the compute of the car. OEMs will have access to a full suite of technology for creating connected and intelligent vehicles that are highly customizable, experiential, and upgradable.
Qualcomm is no newcomer to the auto industry. The company has been working with carmakers since 2004, providing 3G and 4G chips for streaming and on-board telematics, connecting cars to the cloud and delivering computing solutions for a wide array of vehicles. But the next decade will be even busier: already, it has working relationships with 23 of the 26 major car brands, with a 10-year, $10 billion pipeline in place.
What is interesting about Qualcomm is they have the experience to replicate in the automotive industry what they have done in mobile. They have decades of experience creating a platform that is horizontal and that builds a robust, sustainable ecosystem.
This is what the automotive industry is missing at the moment and it’s one of Qualcomm’s core competencies.