Re-Imagining the Car of the Future

time lapse photo of cars in asphalt road
Photo by Ruiyang Zhang on Pexels.com

The automotive space is changing at a rapid clip. Much of this change is driven by a combination of changing customer requirements and new technology not previously available. With this sophistication comes complexity for the entire automotive ecosystem. In a world with data at the core, customers are looking for dramatic changes in their automotive experience.

Customer requirements are changing

Customers are looking toward increased safety and insights from their vehicles. More than ever, the vehicle is more than just four wheels and a steering wheel. Customers are looking for an entirely new experience—one with software-enabled services and engaging in-vehicle systems. From autonomous safety and convenience features to a digital cockpit, customers are looking for a more sophisticated experience that provides insights in real-time.

At the center of this change is data. The challenge has been how to collect, process and present data in a meaningful way to individual drivers as much as fleet managers. Customers want immediate access to insights whether they are driving down the road or the vehicle is stationary and parked.

At the same time, security is key. Securing data and automation is increasingly important in an age where misused data can lead to negative outcomes. The connected vehicle is no exception. The days of a disconnected, and somewhat technologically insulated vehicle are behind us.

Turning requirements into reality

Meeting the demands of today’s consumer requires a wholly new approach to technology within the vehicle. In order to create the experience customers are clamoring for, vehicles need an integrated platform that can leverage data in real-time. Insights and processing of data must happen both on-board the vehicle as well as beyond. This requires both connectivity and integration.

The key for any safety system today relies on a combination of on-board sensors as much as external insights. At the same time, these insights must be presented in real-time to the driver. Those insights then become recommendations or actions in the driving experience.

The next-generation vehicle, which is reliable, connected, intelligent and location-aware, is more important than ever in today’s evolving automotive climate, as premium driving experiences and advanced safety systems are becoming a must for the consumer. 

Technology and the car of the future

Modern technology through the use of integrated platforms and 5G connectivity present new opportunities to change the consumer experience.

Integrated platforms bring insights from multiple sources together to provide the foundation for the digital cockpit. When seconds matter, having information at the driver’s fingertips is key.

Pair that with modern communications technology like 4G, and now 5G, brings the outside world inside. It provides the link to a larger set of insights to the digital cockpit.

The third component is the ecosystem. One vendor may provide parts of the experience, but ultimately it requires a cohesive ecosystem of players to truly change the experience.

It is clear that the automotive industry is quickly headed toward a world with a higher degree of safety and more sophisticated experiences. This new world is actually not far off and within reach for many. For players in the automotive ecosystem, the question is: How to engage and embrace these changes? For the consumer, the future is bright and getting brighter in short order.

Last week, Qualcomm shared a number of announcements during their Automotive Showcase. Among those was their 4th generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms. The platform, based on 5nm processing technology, uses a combination of systems on a chip (SoC) as well as over-the-air connectivity to cloud. Each of these present the potential for new capabilities and experiences mentioned earlier. Qualcomm has essentially packed in a wealth of technology specifically focused on addressing safety improvements and the digital cockpit. During the event, a number of Qualcomm partners who have already experienced success with the 3rd generation platform mentioned how they are looking forward to building on that success with the 4th generation platform. Qualcomm expects the new 4th generation Snapdragon Automotive Development Platform to be available in the second quarter of 2021.

This post is sponsored by Qualcomm.

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