BMW iX Self Driving

Next-generation BMW vehicles, including the upcoming Neue Klasse, due to be produced starting in 2025, will use Qualcomm computer chips according to an announcement made by the San Diego-based tech company on Tuesday. Qualcomm is looking to further diversify from supplying chips for mobile phones, which are said to make up roughly two thirds of chip sales for the company. The chips that will be used as the basis for BMW’s self-driving and driver assistance systems are from the firm’s Snapdragon Ride platform, part of the broader Snapdragon Digital Chassis.

“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,” explained Nicolai Martin, senior vice president, driving experience, at the BMW Group. “We look forward to working in direct relationship with Qualcomm Technologies to build our next-generation ADAS (advanced driver-assistance systems)/AD (automated driving) platform, as well as to continue delivering world-class driving experiences to our customers.”

BMW iX Self Driving

BMW models like the upcoming Neue Klasse will specifically use Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips for BMW’s next-generation automated driving stack, including vision processing, with data coming from front, rear, and side-view camera systems. The vehicles will also rely on what’s described as a high-performance ADAS central compute controller, which effectively controls driving functions, itself managed by Qualcomm’s Car-2-Cloud services platform.

“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.”

Qualcomm is competing in a space with other players such as Nvidia and Intel, the latter of which developed the level three autonomous driving suite of the next-generation BMW 7 Series, which is slated for release in 2022.—Alex Tock

[Photos courtesy BMW AG.]

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