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How automakers can meet the growing demand for differentiated in-vehicle experiences

Qualcomm Technologies announces its 3rd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms at CES 2019.

Jan 8, 2019

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

If you’ve ever experienced the car purchasing process, you know that unless you buy the top-of-the-line model, some of the coolest technology features are simply not available; and if they are, they’re considered “options” for which you must pay extra to add to your vehicle. But what’s great about cars is the trickle-down concept — many of the luxury features that are standard in the highest-end vehicles today will most likely appear as standard on lower tiers in the future. For example, features such as navigation, driver monitoring, and forward collision warning, which first appeared on high-end vehicles a year or two ago, are beginning to appear in lower-tier or entry-level cars. This democratization of technology has led to high consumer expectations in not only luxury vehicles, but also entry-level cars. To help automakers bring highly differentiated and customizable in-car experiences to all tiers, Qualcomm Technologies announced its next breakthrough for the auto industry: our 3rd generation Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms.

Inside the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms

When we designed our third iteration of the Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms, we wanted it to be armed with the best of our proven heterogeneous compute technologies, including the multi-core Qualcomm AI Engine (see image below), Qualcomm Spectra Image Signal Processor (ISP), fourth-generation Qualcomm Kryo Central Processing Unit (CPU), Qualcomm Hexagon Processor, sixth-generation Qualcomm Adreno Visual Subsystem, and more.

Essentially, these technologies inside our platforms are designed to deliver immersive graphics, multimedia, computer vision and artificial intelligence capabilities — the building blocks for the features highly desired in new vehicles. The new platforms also offer comprehensive software support for Android, LINUX, QNX, Greenhills, and other high-level and real-time operating systems individually or in multiple combinations enabled by industry-leading virtualization SW architecture — providing flexible and scalable software solutions to support engine control unit (ECU) consolidation, and diverse multi-display app rich ecosystems and novel and intuitive experiences.

Who Benefits?

The Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms were designed to help automakers deliver on the growing demand for advanced technologies inside their automobiles:

  • Support higher performance computing and intelligence needed for advanced capabilities featured in next-generation vehicles. Leveraging the widely established Hexagon DSP programming infrastructure, the Qualcomm AI Engine enhances computer vision, audio (NLP, Voice assistant) and other features that are fast becoming essential elements of the in-car experience. The latest Hexagon processor includes Hexagon Vector eXtensions (HVX) and a dedicated Hexagon Tensor Accelerator (HTA) to offer exceptional AI acceleration for increased power-efficient implementation of edge-based machine learning use-cases such as natural language processing, fingerprint authentication, in-cabin monitoring, and object classification.
  • Address vehicle domain consolidation via heterogeneous SoC architecture with virtualization — helping automakers meet the increasing complexity demanded by the consolidation of the safety critical driving functions (e.g., digital cluster and backup cameras) and infotainment domains. 
  • Address customer needs for all vehicle classes with scalable platforms. These new platforms leverage the same software architecture and framework across all tiers allowing automakers to offer a harmonized user experience independent of the vehicle tier while leveraging the same software framework.

Ultimately, consumers can reap the benefits of Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms through differentiated in-car experiences, such as:

  • Highly intuitive AI experiences: Just like a person, the car could recognize you by your face, voice or fingerprint — distinguishing you from others and personalizing car settings, lighting and the infotainment system as you get in. Your car may also identify that you are tired and try to warn you, with something as simple as an alarm or by playing the music louder or lowering the cabin temperature. You’ll be able to speak to your car naturally to ask for directions, control car settings, or adjust infotainment volume.
  • Contextual Safety: Your car will be able to act as driving buddy through intelligent driving assistance systems, including in-cabin monitoring and ultra-HD surround view monitoring. For example, inward-facing AI cameras can be used to monitor your driver-related behavior, detect distraction, drowsiness or fatigue, and alert you. AI-powered cameras can also identify when your children or pets are accidently left in the vehicle or if they need your attention.
  • Smarter Navigation: Have you ever driven your car in an unfamiliar area and missed an exit because it was too late to change lanes? Augmented reality-based navigation systems with lane-level accuracy are designed to identify what lane you’re in and tell you if you need to change lanes in a timely manner — reducing missed exits or last-minute lane changes.
  • Rich Visual Experiences: Now, cars will be designed to include stunning, customized visual experiences and high-quality content on multiple screens throughout the vehicle, including ultra-wide panoramic displays, reconfigurable 3D digital instrument clusters, augmented reality heads-up display (HUD), and ultra-HD media streaming.
  • Immersive Audio: Crystal clear in-car communication can be offered as a standard in your new car. The driver and each passenger could have their own audio zone to enjoy customized content with premium audio quality without disturbing other passengers.

Automakers can now scale technology effectively across all lineups

When we say we create breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates, Qualcomm Technologies is not just talking about people. We’re talking many, many things, including automobiles. The Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms were designed to help automakers innovate and more effectively scale our most advanced technologies across their lineups. Watch for us to continually apply our decades-rich experience in mobile and transform the auto industry.

Qualcomm Adreno, Qualcomm AI Engine, Qualcomm Hexagon, Qualcomm Kryo, Qualcomm Snapdragon, and Qualcomm Spectra are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Opinions expressed in the content posted here are the personal opinions of the original authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Qualcomm Incorporated or its subsidiaries ("Qualcomm"). Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries. The content is provided for informational purposes only and is not meant to be an endorsement or representation by Qualcomm or any other party. This site may also provide links or references to non-Qualcomm sites and resources. Qualcomm makes no representations, warranties, or other commitments whatsoever about any non-Qualcomm sites or third-party resources that may be referenced, accessible from, or linked to this site.

Shyam Krishnamurthy

Sr. Director, Product Management, Qualcomm Technologies

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