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How mobile computing is driving the future of the auto industry

Feb 22, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Technological innovation has always played a huge role in the automotive industry. From advancements in powertrain performance to the development of power locks and windows, OEMs have looked for ways to gain a competitive edge by applying technology to not only provide luxuries, but also significant improvements and safety features to consumers. 

And unlike the incremental advancements of years past, the computerization of the car has fostered relentlessly rapid innovation and application of technologies, setting the framework for breakthrough advancements for years to come.

That computerization is nothing new—for years, laptops have been used as tools in service garages for diagnostics and testing. But what is new is the fundamental shift in how auto experts and technologists approach computing: Today, the focus is mobile. Computing processes are being microsized and configured to operate within one centralized component with the ability to connect to internal and external networks, quickly record, process and share data, and handle a heavy workload. 

And that’s why it’s fitting that Qualcomm president Derek K. Aberle, along with Lewis Hamilton and Paddy Lowe of the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One Team, will discuss the rapid and continuing evolution of the modern automobile at Mobile World Congress 2016.

Moderated by Nicki Shields, motor and tech broadcaster, the MWC keynote and following panel (2/23 at 12:00 p.m. EST) will focus on three key ways that innovation is being rapidly revved up by modern, mobile computing-based technology and changing how we drive on the racetrack and the street: connectivity, automation, and the electrification of power systems. And with the development and delivery of products like the Qualcomm Snapdragon 820A automotive processor, this innovation isn’t a cycle or two off in the future—it’s happening now.

Whether for local devices, in-car systems, or the cloud, the connectivity delivered by advanced SoCs like the Snapdragon 820A could be considered the first front of the modern technological evolution in the auto industry. The capacity for connectivity gives OEMs the chance to satiate the demands of information- and entertainment-hungry consumers, who have been conditioned to on-demand delivery thanks to the smartphone. And more important, it lays the foundation for advancements in autonomous cars as well as electric power systems.

Researchers around the world, as well as a few companies, have already been flirting with autonomous driving in various projects. With connectivity as well as the potential to handle advanced computing processes like sensor fusion and machine learning, modern technologies are paving the way for mass adoption of autonomous driving. The ability for cars to communicate with each other—as well as to communicate with pedestrians and the environment—will not only help autonomous driving materialize, but will ensure that it’s safe and reliable.

These are only a few of the exciting possibilities just over the horizon, all enabled by the rapid technological innovation in the automotive sector. If you’re attending Mobile World Congress—or if you have an internet connection—don’t miss the keynote. And learn more about how Qualcomm is leading invention in automotive technology

Hungry for more tech news? Find out all about Qualcomm at MWC 2016, and follow @Qualcomm for MWC updates and more.


Qualcomm Snapdragon is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.


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