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How our 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design could support the connected car in the 5G era

Feb 25, 2019

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

Automobiles have come a long way since Qualcomm Technologies introduced its first modem for cars more than 15 years ago. Vehicles have evolved to become more like smartphones on wheels, as well as an application development platform for the automotive ecosystem. These next-generation connected vehicles are becoming more intelligent and location aware, and are more connected to each other, roadside infrastructure, the cloud, and the overall environment than ever before — making possible new kinds of in-vehicle experiences and the potential for new levels of automotive safety. And if you think about it, they’re just precursors to self-driving cars.

To facilitate next-generation connected vehicles can perform as envisioned, we’ve announced our 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design, which features a highly advanced suite of connectivity technologies, precise positioning technology, and integrated processing. With this comprehensive telematics and V2X reference design, automakers, automotive suppliers, and roadside infrastructure vendors can quickly develop, safety-focused and differentiated products for the next-generation of the connected car.

Next-generation vehicle’s heterogeneous connectivity

Next-generation connected vehicles as envisioned could require multiple connectivity technologies for different applications:

  • 4G/5G cloud connectivity for car OEM services: Automakers may use 4G/5G connectivity to remotely diagnose and monitor car operations, do over-the-air software updates, perform teleoperation, and redefine car ownership by operating a fleet of shared, autonomous vehicles.
  • 4G/5G cloud connectivity for in-vehicle experiences: Drivers and passengers may use connectivity to enjoy new kinds of in-vehicle experiences from augmented reality-based navigation, to rear-seat entertainment and music streaming services via 4G/5G cloud connectivity.
  • C-V2X for automotive safety: The automotive ecosystem and municipalities may use C-V2X to connect vehicles to each other, roadside infrastructure, and the overall environment to improve safety-conciousness and help pave the way to autonomous driving.
  • Wi-Fi for premium in-vehicle experiences and automotive dealer services:  Drivers and passengers could enjoy many enhanced in-car Wi-Fi based experiences. For example, efficient Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the vehicle could support ultra-high definition (ultra-HD) video streaming to multiple displays and enable screen mirroring from compatible devices and wireless back-up cameras. Wi-Fi could also support automotive dealer services, enabling automatic check-in, diagnostic data transfer, and software updates.
  • Bluetooth: Drivers and passengers could stream high-fidelity music via Bluetooth, as well as benefit from practical services such as using a smartphone as a key fob.

Each connectivity technology should have its own design requirements, security and spectrum bands of operation. For example, it’s critical that C-V2X has its own communication protocols, security, and spectrum band — different from 4G/5G network communications.

How our Connected Car Reference Design addresses the needs of next-generation vehicles

As mentioned above, our 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design features heterogeneous connectivity, precise positioning technology, and dedicated processing capabilities:

  • Heterogeneous Connectivity: Our 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design features a highly advanced suite of connectivity technologies, including LTE Advanced Pro or 5G, accompanied by C-V2X, Bluetooth 5.1, and Wi-Fi 6, as well as RF Front-End (RFFE) for 4G and 5G to support major operators across key spectrum bands globally. Our Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive 5G Platform is designed to support a variety of emerging mobility services models and offers Dual Sim Dual Active (DSDA) support, so car OEMs and drivers can make their own independent network operator subscription choice, which may be managed through remote service provisioning. 
  • Advanced precise positioning: Precise positioning is becoming very important for navigation, C-V2X applications, and autonomous driving. Our Snapdragon Automotive 4G and 5G Platforms support concurrent multi-frequency, multi-constellation GNSS including GPS, Galileo, Glonass, BDS, and QZSS with Qualcomm 3D Dead Reckoning (QDR3) technology that is optimized to provide highly accurate location positioning with a comprehensive virtually anytime/anywhere 3D navigation solution by including inertial measurements and other automotive sensors to support precise positioning in virtually all environments, including areas of degraded GNSS visibility.
  • Dedicated processing capabilities: Next-generation vehicles support a variety of applications and communications technologies that require more processing horsepower. Our Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design features a dedicated Qualcomm Technologies application processor with dedicated security accelerators for C-V2X and support for Qualcomm Vision Enhanced Precise Positioning

When we say we create breakthrough technologies that transform how the world connects, computes, and communicates, we’re not just talking about people. We’re talking about things too, including automobiles. The 2nd generation Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design demonstrates this and is designed to help automakers innovate and more effectively scale our most advanced technologies across their lineups.


Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive, Qualcomm Connected Car Reference Design, Qualcomm 3D Dead Reckoning, and Qualcomm Vision Enhanced Precise Positioning are products and/or solutions 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.

Maged Zaki

Director, Technical Marketing, Qualcomm Technologies

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