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Stellantis to Partner With Qualcomm on a Software-based Vehicle Architecture for its Future Models

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【Summary】Automaker Stellantis is teaming up with Qualcomm Technologies to add high-performance compute power to millions of vehicles in the latest partnership between an automaker and a technology company. The two companies signed a multi-year technology collaboration agreement that will utilize the latest Qualcomm’s Snapdragon “Digital Chassis” platform to deliver intelligent, customizable and immersive in-vehicle experiences to Stellantis vehicles.

Eric Walz    Apr 14, 2022 12:45 PM PT
Stellantis to Partner With Qualcomm on a Software-based Vehicle Architecture for its Future Models

Automaker Stellantis is teaming up with Qualcomm Technologies to add high-performance compute power to millions of vehicles in the latest partnership between an automaker and a technology company. 

The two companies signed a multi-year technology collaboration agreement that will utilize the latest Qualcomm's Snapdragon "Digital Chassis" platform to deliver intelligent, customizable and immersive in-vehicle experiences to Stellantis vehicles. 

Qualcomm's Snapdragon-powered Digital Chassis is a connected vehicle platform that supports the development and delivery of new cloud-connected digital services. The company unveiled the new platform in February.

Vehicle's with the Digital Chassis will be connected to the cloud nearly 100% of the time and continually process information from their surroundings. Interacting with vehicle systems will also be more immersive and entertaining.

The Snapdragon-powered Digital Chassis will be installed in millions of vehicles across Stellantis' 14 automotive brands beginning in 2024.  The vehicles will leverage the Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms and 5G capabilities for vehicle telematics systems. 

The 14 Stellantis brands include Chrysler, Dodge, Ram, Jeep and Fiat.

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

Qualcomm's continuous push into the automotive space comes as more vehicles are being equipped with connectivity features and automated driving capability.

The Snapdragon Digital Chassis uses new Wi-Fi 6E 4-Stream Dual Band Simultaneous (DBS) plus Bluetooth version 5.3 combination chip that supports faster Wi-Fi speeds and increased bandwidth for connected vehicle applications and services.

Stellantis plans to merge all of its vehicle software domains into high performance computers, leveraging the Snapdragon Automotive Platforms across all major vehicle domains. With it, automakers will be able to offer personalized vehicle experiences that are continuously upgradeable. It will also improve ownership experiences. Diagnostics and repair for all major vehicle systems can be performed OTA.  

"Our technology collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is another example of how we are identifying industry leaders to work alongside our passionate and talented internal teams as we transform our vehicles through a software-defined approach," said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. This will ultimately better meet the needs of our customers' lifestyles through safe, personalized, and always-connected features."  

Software-based vehicle architectures are the next big thing in the auto industry. It essentially turns a vehicle into a rolling smartphone where features and functions can be upgraded over time via over-the-air software updates.

Stellantis will use next-generation Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms to power the in-car communication and infotainment systems for STLA SmartCockpit, which is being designed and engineered together with Amazon and Foxconn. 

The STLA SmartCockpit's next-generation interface offers users a more natural way of interacting with  the vehicle based on inputs ranging from touch and voice, to glance and gesture.The platform is also engineered to deliver a fully immersive in-cabin experience, enabling premium audio and crystal-clear voice communications throughout the vehicle.

In January, Stellantis announced it selected Amazon Web Services (AWS) as its preferred cloud provider for its future vehicle platforms. Stellantis and Amazon plan to build together the next generation of cloud-enabled infrastructure for vehicle platforms, including for STLA SmartCockpit.

"Qualcomm is honored to expand our work with Stellantis to redefine vehicles in the 21st century by bringing Snapdragon Digital Chassis solutions to their future vehicles," said Cristiano Amon, President and CEO, Qualcomm Incorporated. "By creating open, scalable, and comprehensive automotive platforms that encompass semiconductors, systems, software, and services, we are empowering Stellantis, as well as the broader automotive ecosystem, to lead the transformation to the digital era of automobiles."

Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will also be used to enhance Stellantis' STLA Brain software, which is the automaker's new electrical/electronic (E/E) and software architecture for vehicles. It will add a new level of digital intelligence for convenience and safety. 

The STLA Brain software will also enhance the in-vehicle personal assistant capabilities with highly intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) features, which include OTA updates that will allow the vehicle to improve over time by being constantly updated, upgraded and enhanced.  

The Snapdragon powered vehicle platform will also offer personalized experiences. It will leverage AI to adapt to a wide variety of customer preferences such as learning a driver's preferred cabin temperature.

The STLA Brain will also support on-demand features that will generate additional revenue streams for Stellantis, such as instant vehicle upgrades to unlock additional horsepower or adding enhanced drive modes.

The first application of the new vehicle architecture will be for Stellantis' Maserati brand to power the next generation infotainment system. 

Stellantis says it has a comprehensive software strategy that will reinvent how vehicles are designed, engineered and operated. The automaker plans to transform into a leading, sustainable mobility tech company with an investment of up to €30 billion in electrification and software through 2025. This latest partnership with Qualcomm is the next step on that journey.

Stellantis expects that the number of connected, software-based vehicles on the road will increase from 12 million in 2021 to 34 million by 2030.

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. 

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 also support level 2 safety systems, such as adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking (AEB) and lane keep assist.

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