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Smart EV Company JiDU Auto is Working With Baidu to Build China's First Production Vehicle Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform

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【Summary】Baidu, Inc, JiDU Auto and Qualcomm Technologies announced that JiDU’s first production electric vehicle will feature an intelligent digital cockpit system that's based on the 4th generation of Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform. It will be combined with an intelligent cockpit system and vehicle software solution jointly developed by JiDU and Baidu.

Eric Walz    Nov 29, 2021 2:30 PM PT
Smart EV Company JiDU Auto is Working With Baidu to Build China's First Production Vehicle Powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform

China's Baidu Inc, smart EV company JiDU Auto and Qualcomm Technologies announced that JiDU's first production electric vehicle will feature an intelligent digital cockpit system assisted by technology from Baidu and Qualcomm. 

The digital dash will be based on the 4th generation of Qualcomm's Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform. It will be combined with an intelligent cockpit system and vehicle software solution jointly developed by JiDU and Baidu. 

The first JiDU production vehicles featuring the new digital cockpit are expected to be available in 2023 in what's expected to be the world's first production vehicles to feature a Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform in China. 

JiDU is a new smart electric vehicle venture backed by Chinese internet technology company Baidu Inc and Chinese automaker Geely, which is the parent company of Swedish automaker Volvo Cars. The EV company was officially established in March 2021. 

In June, JiDU said it has hired Frank Wu, formerly at Cadillac, to lead its design studio in China. Prior to joining JiDU, Wu spent seven years at General Motors, where he led the design of the Cadillac CT6. 

In April, JiDU's chief executive Xia Yiping told Reuters that the new company aims to invest 50 billion yuan ($7.7 billion) into producing smart cars over the next five years.

JiDU's mission is to "create and design a human-centric, smart robotic vehicle driven by advanced AI technology with the innate ability to learn and progress while delivering superior autonomous driving capability."

Qualcomm's 4th Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms were announced in January. It's designed to provide superior in-vehicle user experiences, as well as safety, comfort and reliability. In addition to supporting safety applications, it can power the new generation of intelligent and connected vehicles.

The new digital cockpit platforms support multiple engine control units (ECUs), including instrument clusters and cockpits, augmented reality heads-up-display (AR-HUD), infotainment systems, rear seat displays, camera-based e-mirrors and in-cabin monitoring services. 

Qualcomm's 4th generation automotive platforms use the same software architecture and framework across all tiers, reducing development complexity and commercialization time, while minimizing maintenance costs for automakers.

"We're excited about JiDU's first product to be the first production vehicle powered by the 4th Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform in 2023," said CEO Xia Yiping. "JiDU will quickly implement advanced intelligent cockpit technologies, bring these technologies to the market immediately and create reliable, self-evolvable automobile robots."

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The Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms are also designed to serve as a central hub for high-performance compute, computer vision, artificial intelligence (AI) and multi-sensor data processing. It provides a flexible software configuration to address the compute, performance and functional safety requirements of vehicles.

As the world's automakers add more high-tech features to their models, they are turning to semiconductor companies including Qualcomm, Intel and NVIDIA to supply the hardware that can support advanced vehicle systems. All three companies have entered into agreements with automakers to supply the hardware that can support advanced features, such as autonomous driving.

Qualcomm was the driving force behind the development, launch, and expansion of 5G networks that will soon support autonomous driving, smart cities, and vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) connectivity.

"The modern vehicle's architecture is changing to meet growing customer demand for advanced, high-compute connectivity capabilities in the car. With this transformation comes a growing need for open, scalable platforms to meet this dynamic variety of customer needs," said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president & GM, automotive, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. "We're pleased to work with Baidu and JiDU to create new driving experiences utilizing our 4th Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform, and offer connected, intelligent, customizable experiences from our Snapdragon Digital Chassis."

Two weeks ago, Qualcomm announced a separate collaboration with automaker BMW to supply the hardware to support its advanced driver assist systems (ADAS) and autonomous driving features that will be available in future BMW models.

BMW said its next generation autonomous driving stack will be based on Qualcomm's Snapdragon Ride dedicated 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. 

Attendees of the annual Beijing International Automotive Exhibition will be able to preview the intelligent digital cockpit in a JiDU concept vehicle in April 2022.

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