In the fourth Qualcomm partnership announcement in the past six months, Volkswagen’s Cariad software group has said that it selected Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Ride platform to power next-generation vehicles across Volkswagen Group automotive brands, which include popular and luxury brands like Audi, Bentley, Lamborghini, Porsche, and Volkswagen, as well as other regional brands. This Qualcomm partnership announcement follows three others with BMW, Ferrari, and Renault, all leading European car companies, and earlier announcements with General Motors in the U.S. and Great Wall Motors in China. The partnership announcements demonstrate increasing momentum for Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Ride platform for developing Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and Autonomous Driving (AD) systems after the platform’s introduction just over two years ago in 2020.
The Snapdragon Ride platform is just one component of Qualcomm’s ever-expanding products for automotive applications which Qualcomm collectively calls the Snapdragon Digital Chassis. The Digital Chassis also includes the Snapdragon Cockpit for in-cabin solutions, Snapdragon Auto Connectivity for wireless communications and telematics, and Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud Services for software services and upgradability. The Digital Chassis encompasses Qualcomm’s expertise in AI, wireless, and low-power high-performance heterogenous computing combined with the company’s success in building flexible, scalable, and open ecosystems. The Snapdragon Digital Chassis platforms have the flexibility to combine individual platform components with additional hardware and software technology. As an example, both GM and Volkswagen’s Cariad will be using Snapdragon Ride SoCs but are developing their own software stacks as a key point of differentiation. In this way, Qualcomm’s Digital Chassis platform exhibits the flexibility of the company’s smartphone ecosystem.
The result is growing interest in the Snapdragon Digital Chassis. The company is the leading provider of automotive communications solutions and future digital cockpit and infotainment platforms. Even before the Volkswagen announcement, Qualcomm had forecast more than $16B in future automotive revenue, including ADAS/AD platforms with the other five OEMs mentioned above and in-cabin solutions with a majority of the automotive OEMs and Tier 1 auto suppliers. The table below provides a summary of the announced design wins by auto brand. Many more remain unannounced.
Qualcomm continues to expand the hardware and software platforms within the Snapdragon Digital Chassis umbrella. In terms of software, the company recently completed its acquisition of Arriver and announced a strategic partnership with BMW to develop a software stack for autonomous driving. The rapid advancement in this segment is a result of Qualcomm’s investment in future automotive platforms, as well as the resulting infrastructure with C-V2X (cellular vehicle-to-everything) connectivity. Qualcomm is focused on developing a complete platform for the entire vehicle and appears to be aggressively developing a rich ecosystem, key elements of the company’s strategy as it expands into new markets as part of its diversification strategy.