Qualcomm, best known for its chips and modems inside Android phones, has been making strides in the automotive industry with its Snapdragon Digital Chassis. This package of hardware chips, sensors, and software has been adopted by automakers such as GM, Hyundai, and Volvo. Looking to further grow its presence in the automotive market, Qualcomm is now leveraging the potential of generative artificial intelligence (AI) to persuade automakers to incorporate more of their chips. By integrating their technology into vehicles, Qualcomm aims to create new scenarios and experiences, including the development of smart assistants that can assist drivers with tasks such as navigation and reservations. While automotive revenue still represents a small portion of Qualcomm’s overall sales, the company projects significant growth in the coming years, with expectations of generating over $9 billion in sales by 2031.
While Qualcomm has made significant progress in the automotive industry, it faces stiff competition from other chipmakers and traditional auto suppliers. Companies such as Intel (through its subsidiary Mobileye) and Nvidia not only sell automotive products but also provide computer-focused chips. On the other hand, traditional auto suppliers like Continental, NXP Semiconductors, and Bosch are also striving to supply parts and chips for dashboards and driver assistance systems. To maintain its competitive edge, Qualcomm must continue to innovate and collaborate with automakers to deliver cutting-edge solutions that enhance the in-car computing experience.
Recently, Qualcomm demonstrated how its chips, coupled with generative AI models, can enable exciting new possibilities in the automotive industry. The company showcased demonstrations of a car assistant finding recipes and creating shopping lists, as well as creating and sending AI-generated birthday cards to drivers’ family members. These demos highlighted the capabilities of Qualcomm’s chips, which powered these applications directly on the car’s computer, rather than relying on external devices such as smartphones. Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon envisions cars as a “new computing platform,” emphasizing the potential for cars to become more like personal computers in the future.
By showcasing its expertise in generative AI and low-power smartphone GPUs, Qualcomm aims to position itself as an AI company. While rival Nvidia has gained significant attention and stock market increases due to its cloud GPUs, Qualcomm seeks to differentiate itself by focusing on AI applications for mobile devices. One of Qualcomm’s short-term goals is to develop a smart user guide using language models trained on dense user manuals that come with cars. Additionally, the company is exploring applications of machine learning in driver monitoring to detect distractions or fatigue. This focus on AI development opens up new avenues for Qualcomm to add value to the automotive industry and expand its business opportunities.
Future Prospects for Qualcomm’s Platform
Beyond the current applications of their technology, Qualcomm sees potential in upgrading cars’ software on the go to introduce new self-driving capabilities. By offering these upgrades via over-the-air updates, Qualcomm envisions a new revenue stream for automakers and additional features for drivers. These include automated parking, which can be offered through a subscription or a free trial, providing drivers with greater convenience and enhanced driving experiences. As the automotive industry continues to evolve and embrace new technologies, Qualcomm is positioning itself as a key player in the development and integration of advanced computing solutions into vehicles.
Qualcomm’s foray into the automotive industry through its Snapdragon Digital Chassis has opened up new opportunities for the company. By harnessing the power of generative AI and focusing on AI development for mobile devices, Qualcomm aims to solidify its position as an AI company and expand its presence in the automotive market. As the demand for advanced computing solutions in vehicles continues to grow, Qualcomm’s chips and software offer automakers the potential to enhance the in-car experience and deliver innovative features to their customers. With its ambitious revenue projections and commitment to technological innovation, Qualcomm is well-positioned to shape the future of the automotive industry through its cutting-edge technologies and strategic partnerships.