Qualcomm, renowned for its chips and modems in Android phones, has extended its reach into the automotive sector. It introduced Snapdragon Digital Chassis, a bundle encompassing hardware chips, sensors, and software, to automakers like GM, Hyundai, and Volvo.
Leveraging the buzz around generative artificial intelligence, Qualcomm aims to convince automakers to adopt more of these chips for innovative applications. This includes smart assistants that aid drivers in navigating cities, making reservations, and handling daily computing tasks.
Although automotive revenue constitutes a small portion of Qualcomm’s business, amounting to $1.32 billion in fiscal year 2022 (approximately 3% of total sales), the company anticipates increased chip adoption in upcoming vehicles, projecting sales exceeding $9 billion in 2031.
Qualcomm earns between $200 and $3,000 per car utilizing its chips and software, with an additional $5 per car connected to 5G through licensing fees.
For instance, GM’s new electric Cadillac Escalade IQ SUV employs Qualcomm technology to power its 55-inch dashboard display and features like lane-keeping and hands-free driving under the “Ultra Cruise” brand. Interestingly, the SUV omits phone mirroring features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, emphasizing GM’s chosen software interface.
However, Qualcomm faces robust competition from other chip manufacturers in the automotive sector, including Intel‘s Mobileye subsidiary and Nvidia. Established auto suppliers like Continental, NXP Semiconductors, and Bosch are also vying to provide components and chips for dashboards and driver assistance systems.