Volkswagen confirms Qualcomm as silicon partner for autonomous vehicles
Volkswagen-owned automotive software company CARIAD has said it will use system-on-chips (SoCs) from Qualcomm for its new automated driving platform, for use in all Volkswagen car brands from the middle of the decade. The partnership with Qualcomm is a “first of its kind” for CARIAD, by all accounts, and a way for its parent to “perfectly match” hardware and software “to bring automated driving” to its customers.
Volkswagen’s NEW AUTO strategy, presented last year, is aimed to lead the Volkswagen Group to “an autonomous and sustainable mobility future”, it said. The strategy will see the group “span everything from manufacturing and selling vehicles, to producing battery cells and offering energy services, to providing mobility solutions and developing and continuously updating software”, it said.
As part of that, the CARIAD platform is designed to enable assisted and automated driving functions up to Level 4. CARIAD, established in 2020 as an independent automotive software company in the Volkswagen Group, will use SoCs from the Snapdragon Ride portfolio; these will be an “important hardware component” in its compute platform, it said.
The arrangement with Qualcomm will also strengthen CARIAD’s “own competencies in the definition of optimized high-performance semiconductors”, it said. A statement declared: “Behind this is the conviction that software and hardware must be perfectly matched in order to achieve the best possible performance and efficiency of central computer systems in the long term. This is especially true for complex functions such as highly automated driving.
CARIAD has 5,000 engineers and developers working on a unified software platform for all Volkswagen brands, comprising an operating system, a unified architecture and an automotive cloud. The new software platform is to be used for the first time from after 2025. The company is also developing digital functions for the vehicle, including driver assistance systems, a standardized infotainment platform, software functions for linking powertrains, chassis and charging technology, as well as the new digital ecosystem and digital services in and around the vehicle.
Dirk Hilgenberg, chief executive at CARIAD, said: “The connected and automated car of the future is a high-performance computer on wheels. Behind it lies enormously complex computing power. With our automated driving solutions, we are striving to let customers take their hands off the steering wheel in the future. Our software and Qualcomm’s high-performance SoCs are the perfect match to bring this new automotive experience to customers around the world.”
Nakul Duggal, senior vice president and general manager for automotive at Qualcomm, said: “We look forward to supporting CARIAD and its suppliers to deliver scalable and secure automated driving functions for Volkswagen Group vehicles through their selection of our open and programmable Snapdragon Ride platforms. As… innovation and complexity increase, strong collaborations such as ours with CARIAD are a necessity to not only address aggressive time-to-market goals, but to deliver safe and reliable automated driving experiences for all.”