Connected Car and the Snapdragon Digital Chassis

Monday 7/25/22 08:26am
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Posted By Ana Schafer
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Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by
Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

As the car becomes more connected, it is poised to play a growing role in the consumer digital experience. Electric and autonomous vehicles give developers the chance to explore the opportunities that come with having a completely new digital and electronics architecture. Those opportunities include advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS), assisted driving (AD), greater vehicle safety, cloud-connected digital services, and personalized, in-car experiences.

New directions in automotive design are driving demand for more onboard computing power. That’s why Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI) has launched the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, a set of technology solutions for building connected and intelligent vehicles designed to be safer, customizable, immersive, and continually upgradeable.

Trends, opportunities, and challenges in automotive technology
Both customer demand and industry changes are at work in the modernization of vehicles and transportation.

  • The software-defined vehicle is within reach, blending silicon and software that lets automakers ship a continually evolving platform on wheels.
  • When the vehicle is connected with other vehicles and surrounding infrastructure, new use cases emerge for drivers, commercial fleets, and shared mobility.
  • Automated driving has the potential to make transportation safer by enabling the car to take in and handle more data than the driver can.
  • Electric and hybrid vehicles have demonstrated commercial traction, prompting innovation in batteries and charging infrastructure.

Snapdragon Digital Chassis can provide opportunities for vehicle modernization. It capitalizes on our twenty years of automotive industry experience to meet challenges with new combinations of:

  • Experience — Consumer, wireless, semiconductor, cloud, software
  • Technology — 5G, artificial intelligence (AI), augmented reality (AR), high-performance computing
  • Hardware — Advanced audio, video, camera, displays, sensors

As a result, automakers can design and deliver premium consumer experiences both in the vehicle and on the road.

Inside the Snapdragon Digital Chassis
The Snapdragon Digital Chassis offers automakers what they need to create the vehicles of the future. It spans the areas of greatest importance in automotive development:

  • Snapdragon Auto Connectivity — This platform provides connectivity including 5G to the cloud; Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth within the car; and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication to other vehicles, roadside infrastructure, and vulnerable road users. It also covers Power Line Communications (PLC) to the charging station and GNSS communication for precise positioning and navigation.
  • Snapdragon Cockpit — Inside the car, the platform lets the driver, passenger and rear-seat passengers enjoy always-connected experiences. It uses the roadmap of Snapdragon application processors to drive the instrument cluster, navigation display, and passenger- and rear-seat entertainment.
  • Snapdragon Ride — This is our car-to-cloud, connected ADAS hardware component for automated driving. At the network edge, it processes raw data from multiple sensors (e.g., cameras, radar, lidar, V2X, maps), then runs intelligent drive policy and motion planning.
  • Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud — With this platform, manufacturers can accommodate changing requirements, performance boosts and mid-lifecycle upgrades to the vehicle. Car-to-Cloud takes advantage of the car’s connectivity to deliver on-demand digital services and strengthen brand loyalty.

With the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, automakers have the chance to own the in-vehicle experience. They can extend their brand and bring engaging consumer interactions into the vehicle in various regions, use cases and vehicle types. Plus, our open technology approach helps give automakers more control over their products while it helps simplify the development process.

Webcast: Connected-car experts
As automakers begin to see the value in the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, they also consider the kinds of relationships they’ll need as the opportunity shifts to connected cars. With whom should they work? From whom will they get hardware, software, and engineering support services? How can they find companies that understand not only the technology but also the new business models that the connected car creates?

Members of the Qualcomm Advantage Network attended a recent webcast focused on the Qualcomm Automotive Solutions Ecosystem Program and Snapdragon Digital Chassis. Here are some of the highlights, from connected-car experts in the Qualcomm Advantage Network:

  • Vibha Rustagi is VP and North America head of IoT Industry 4.0 and Engineering at Cognizant, a company that helps clients modernize technology and reimagine processes.
  • Hemant Deokar is a director of product management with Rolling Wireless, a Tier-2 supplier of automotive network access devices.
  • Punitha Sinnapan is VP of automotive design for Cubic Telecom, a connected software solutions provider for more than nine million devices.

Here are some of the insights they shared:



According to Sinnapan in the video above, research shows that 37 percent of drivers would switch car brand for better connectivity. Also mentioned, a similar percentage wants to be able to unlock new digital features after purchase. A decade and a half into the smartphone era, consumers are looking for always-on connectivity in their car and the same experience they get with their smartphone.


The advent of the software-defined vehicle sets the stage for connected vehicle services, security updates, and real-time analysis and insights, said Rustagi. That portends an ecosystem extending to entities like dealers, insurance companies, and roadside assistance service providers through all stages of the ownership lifecycle. Connection to the cloud allows automakers to access the data, context, and personal preferences of drivers and passengers, opening up new sources of revenue for the automakers. As noted in the video above, Rustagi notes that the combination of Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud and Cognizant’s cloud and automotive expertise supports McKinsey’s estimate that by 2030, 90 percent of vehicles sold will be connected.


The computing power of the connected car puts it squarely at the intelligent edge of the network, observed Deokar. Consumers are starting to expect that the car can and will change over time, enabled by edge devices that manufacturers upgrade and up-function throughout the lifecycle. But managing those upgrades is a big task. Most automakers have treated software upgrades as an exception, but they’re coming to see them as an opportunity.

Deokar of Rolling Wireless also described one key challenge for developers is the difference between the pace of software development and the pace of silicon development. The development cycle of a typical automotive program lasts 24-36 months before the car is on the road — about the same length of time as an entire generation of silicon. By the time the car ships, the silicon is already a generation old. That forces the automaker’s developers to keep pace with changes to the silicon. With QTI, Rolling Wireless is trying to provide a consistent software platform that can evolve with changes in silicon while maintaining a common set of interfaces for developers.

Finally, each or our experts agreed that since automakers sell and operate in dozens of countries, global deployment complicates things because the telecom landscape tends toward fragmentation. That diversity becomes more pronounced with the added layer of wireless networks and infrastructure. Therein lies the value of the Qualcomm Advantage Network, where companies can find other members to help provide a marketplace and manage an ecosystem of service providers.

Next step
Find out more about the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, including the hardware and software available to you for creating the vehicles of the future. We also have information for you specific to Snapdragon Auto Connectivity as well as our Snapdragon Ride SDK. We’ll see you on the roads!


Qualcomm, Snapdragon, Snapdragon Digital Chassis, Snapdragon Ride, Qualcomm Automotive Solutions Ecosystem, and Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud are products of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.
Qualcomm Advantage Network is a program of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.