If you had no idea that CES 2016 was taking place last week, and you happened to stumble into the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center, you might think you had walked into the Las Vegas International Auto Show by accident.
Since 2007, automotive OEMs have increasingly been reserving CES booths to show the latest in how electronics and technology can change the consumer driving experience. A growing appetite for telematics, infotainment, and guidance has pushed OEMs to put an emphasis on embedded technology platforms, matching the demands of customers who consider connectivity and processing in their vehicles to be as important as horsepower and MPG.
At this year’s show, auto OEMs showcased new advancements and additions to vehicles in everything from sound and entertainment to compatibility with other devices. And Qualcomm Technologies had an entire booth dedicated to what it’s doing in the automotive sector—featuring its own technological development as well as how it's helped innovate and collaborate within its ecosystem.
Qualcomm Technologies is no stranger to the automotive sector. Founded in 1985, Qualcomm’s first major product was OmniTRACS—a satellite location and messaging services used by long-haul trucking companies. Today, Qualcomm Technologies brings its expertise to the automotive sector mainly through the flagship Qualcomm Snapdragon processor family, as well as Qualcomm Halo wireless electric vehicle charging (WEVC) technology.
This year at CES, Qualcomm Technologies broke two major automotive stories. We announced our work with Audi to bring the 602A into the company’s 2017 models, and also revealed the Snapdragon 820A, a processor that includes an X12 LTE modem capable of Category 12 speeds, and able to support real time object recognition and computer vision for driving assistance.
And for the future, we showcased how it’s looking to bring its expertise in connectivity—and automation—to increase safety and the overall driving experience. By creating the technology platform capable of letting OEMs configure vehicle-to-vehicle or vehicle-to-pedestrian communication, or allowing the car to connect to other devices, such as the home or smartphones, we’re setting the automotive sector up for further technological evolution—including integration with the smart city and autonomous parking and driving.
Steve Mollenkopf, Qualcomm’s CEO, touched on that subject on Thursday during a panel on smart cities and urban mobility. “[Vehicles will] become more of a personal assistant,” he stated in agreement with Bosch CEO and CTO Volkmar Denner. “But they will also have the ability to sense so much information about the environment. And if they can share that information across the entire population of vehicles, it would have huge benefits [for] individual operators, smart cities, and society as well.”
The importance of connectivity and processing within vehicles will continue to change how auto OEMs approach vehicles—and perhaps even the OEMs themselves. “Car manufacturers are becoming very much like cloud providers, they generate so much data,” said Mollenkopf in a recent interview. “And the blend of technologies we can provide in a smartphone-type form factor is going to be really important to the car manufacturers.”
Qualcomm Technologies' use of connectivity and processing makes it well positioned to deliver the future of autonomous driving. And as a growing appetite for dashboard technology and telematics drives an imperative among auto OEMs, Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Solutions is ready to help deliver—now, and in the future.
Read all of our coverage of Qualcomm Technologies at CES 2016.