The technical basis for the cooperation between Stellantis (including Alfa Romeo, Chrysler, Citroën, DS Automobiles, Fiat, Jeep, Opel and Peugeot) on the one hand and the chip designer and IP licensor Qualcomm on the other is the Snapdragon Cockpit Platform and the 5G technology of the Californians. With this cooperation, Qualcomm has succeeded in gaining a foothold in the vehicle volume market; more than 34 million vehicles will then be equipped with computing and communication technology from Qualcomm. This is a multiple of what can be expected from Qualcomm’s cooperation with BMW and Ferraris, which were announced independently some time ago.
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According to a joint announcement of Qualcomm and Stellanis, the collaboration will lean on the latest Snapdragon Digital Chassis advancements to deliver intelligent, customizable and immersive in-vehicle experiences. The agreement will facilitate Stellantis’ plan to merge all software domains into High Performance Computers, leveraging Qualcomm’s high-performance, low-power Snapdragon Automotive Platforms across all major vehicle domains as well as contribute to securing Stellantis’ supply chain on strategic components.
“This technology collaboration will ultimately better meet the needs of our customers’ lifestyles through safe, personalized, and always-connected features,” said Carlos Tavares, Stellantis CEO. “Qualcomm Technologies’ broad experience in automotive and scale as a semiconductor leader will enable us to vertically integrate key elements of our new platforms and more closely manage the complete electronics supply chain to provide access to the best technologies enable the fulfillment of Stellantis’ volume potential and achieve our Dare Forward 2030 ambition.”
Stellanti’s Chief Software Officer Yves Bonnefont explained how this will look in practice. According to this, the vehicle manufacturer plans to develop flexible, easily customisable electronic environments for all its vehicles. The function of the electronics can also be adapted after the sale through OTA updates. Bonnefont is also thinking of future used car buyers: the updates should also enable them to adapt the electronic equipment to their wishes and to acquire new features after purchasing a used car. AI is also expected to play an important role – not only in intelligent driver assistance functions that can gain experience over time and adapt their functionality to changing requirements. But also in the interaction between driver and vehicle – the vehicle should be able to automatically adjust to the mood and wishes of the driver (and passengers) and, for example, set the appropriate music.
To enable these services and ADAS capabilities, 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. Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms are not only engineered to deliver high-definition graphics to touch and voice-controlled cockpit console, but to also deliver a fully immersive in-cabin experience, enabling premium audio and crystal-clear voice communications throughout the vehicle’s cabin.
Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms will also be used to enhance STLA Brain, bringing a new level of digital intelligence for convenience and safety, and helping to enhance the in-vehicle personal assistant capabilities with highly intuitive artificial intelligence (AI) features, which includes:
- Over-the-air (OTA) updates that will allow the vehicle to naturally evolve and improve over time by being constantly updated, upgraded and enhanced, as well as features on demand and instant vehicle upgrades, such as additional horsepower or drive modes
- Personalized experiences, leveraging AI to adapt to a wide variety of customer preferences
- Improved user experiences, thanks to faster communication with connected features and higher computation power to support future upgrades
- Continuous exciting new services and solutions
- Always-connected experiences
- Improved ownership experiences with diagnostics and repair completed over the air for all major vehicle systems
The first application will be in the Maserati brand to power the next generation Stellantis infotainment system. Beginning 2024, the technology will be rolled out across all Stellantis brands, said Bonnefont. The Qualcomm technology should also help Stellantis to develop ADAS and partially automated driving up to level 3+. However, there are no plans to continue beyond this to higher autonomy levels, at least for the time being. “This is not in the scope of our announcement”, Bonnefont said.