Qualcomm to Supply its ‘Snapdragon Ride' ADAS Platform to BMW for its Next-Gen Vehicles

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【Summary】​Semiconductor company Qualcomm Technologies Inc announced a collaboration with Automaker BMW Group to supply the hardware to support advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving features of future BMW models. The chips being supplied to BMW are part of Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Ride Platform.

Eric Walz    Dec 23, 2021 3:30 PM PT
Qualcomm to Supply its ‘Snapdragon Ride' ADAS Platform to BMW for its Next-Gen Vehicles

Semiconductor company Qualcomm Technologies Inc announced a collaboration with  Automaker BMW Group to supply the hardware to support advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving features of future BMW models. 

The technology being supplied to BMW is part of Qualcomm's new Snapdragon Ride Platform. 

BMW's next generation autonomous driving stack will be based on Qualcopmm's Snapdragon Ride vision system-on-chip (SoC). It will support vision perception and ADAS central compute SoC controllers managed by Qualcomm's Car-2-Cloud services platform.

BMW will utilize Qualcomm's SoCs and hardware to support a wide variety of ADAS and autonomous driving functions, including front, rear and surround view camera computer vision with a dedicated computer vision SoC, as well as a high-performance ADAS central compute controller for autonomous driving.

"BMW has chosen Qualcomm Technologies as our technology partner and systems solutions provider based on the company's breadth and depth of portfolio, as well as proven expertise in compute, connectivity, computer vision, advanced semiconductors and driver assistance technologies," said Nicolai Martin, SVP Driving Experience, BMW Group. "We look forward to working in direct relationship with Qualcomm Technologies to build our next-generation ADAS/AD platform, as well as to continue delivering world-class driving experiences to our customers."

Qualcomm is a global leading wireless technology and the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G communications in multiple industries. The company's core technologies were used to connect the first cellular phones to the internet.

Qualcomm's Snapdragon Ride platform was first announced at CES in Jan 2020. Since its unveiling, it has steadily gained momentum with global automakers and Tier 1 suppliers worldwide. Qualcomm's push into the automotive space comes as more vehicles are being equipped with connectivity features and automated driving capability.

The Snapdragon Ride Platform is based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon family of automotive SoCs. It's built on scalable and modular high-performance multi-core CPUs. The platform also utilizes energy efficient AI and computer vision (CV) engines, as well as a graphics processing unit (GPU). The chips support level 2 safety systems, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane keep assist.

Snapdragon Ride is one of the automotive industry's most advanced, scalable and fully customizable ADAS platforms available to automakers for adding advanced safety features as well as autonomous driving capabilities to their vehicles.

As modern vehicles become more like computers on wheels, automakers like BMW, General Motors and others are entering into supply agreements with chip makers Qualcomm, Nvidia and Intel to supply the hardware that will support these advanced systems.

Nvidia and Intel Corp are also making inroads into the auto industry along with Qualcomm.

Intel subsidiary Mobileye, which the chipmaker purchased for $15.3 billion in 2017, is a developer of an entire computer vision-based autonomous driving hardware and software stack. The company's computer vision technology can identify lane markings, traffic signs, pedestrians, bicyclists and other vehicles.

Mobileye's EyeQ4 SoC for example, is one of the world's most advanced computer vision processors for autonomous vehicles and can perform complex and computationally intensive computer vision algorithms using minimal power, which has caught the attention of automakers. 

Mobileye's EyeQ SoC can support an entire suite of ADAS features based on a single camera sensor. The EyeQ4 SoC can also process data from multiple vehicle sensors required for semi-autonomous driving.

Nvidia is also emerging as a leading developer of hardware for autonomous vehicles around the world, due to the robust processing capabilities of its SoCs. Nvidia's DRIVE AGX platform, for example, serves as the AI "brain" of a  self-driving vehicle. The company's Xavier SoC is the first production-level SoC dedicated to supporting highly automated and autonomous driving functions. 

There is likely to be more collaborations between semiconductor companies and automakers in the future as electrification, connectivity and autonomous driving transforms how vehicles are manufactured with the addition of hardware and SoCs to support ADAS.

"Our announcement with BMW today is the onset of a new era in automotive where two technology leaders have come together to design and develop a key element of Snapdragon Digital Chassis for the next generation automobile," said Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated. "We are very proud of this milestone and cannot wait to bring our jointly designed products on the road."

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