Qualcomm is well known for their wireless products that have been used in flagship cellular devices for over two decades. Over the past few years they have been utilizing their expertise in smart cars and automated autonomous vehicles.
As of now autonomous vehicles are still figuring out kinks – Tesla having one of the first versions available to consumers. This past Friday Qualcom introduced a new Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) chipset reference design that will help automakers be one step closer to an actual consumer fully autonomous vehicle.
Their Qualcomm 9150 C-V2X chipset is expected to be available for commercial testing in the later half of 2018, and is based on specs from the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP), which is a collaboration between different telecommunication associations.
Qualcomm has been working with different automotive partners already who endorse the new chipset, including Audi, Ford, SAIC, and the PSA Group.
“We welcome Qualcomm Technologies’ cellular-V2X product announcement, as the automotive industry and ecosystem work towards C-V2X implementation, and pave the path to 5G broadband and future operating services,” Don Butler, executive director of Connected Vehicle and Services at Ford, said in a statement.
As C-V2X standards evolve, “there is an increasing appetite to say, ‘Let’s test it out,'” Durga Malladi, SVP of engineering at Qualcomm, said to ZDNet. “And for that, we need a chipset.”
These chips can improve a vehicle’s situational awareness. It does this by detecting and exchanging information using low latency transmissions. By relying on the globally harmonized 5.9GHz ITS band, the chipset relays information on a vehicle-to-vehicle, vehicle-to-infrastructure, and vehicle-to-pedestrian scenarios without the need of any SIM card, cell service, or any network assistance.
Along with advanced communications, the 9150 C-V2X chipset improves reliability and non-line-of sight (NLOS) performance. With extended communication capabilities and precise positioning, Malladi of Qualcomm explained, a car will eventually be able to communicate not just with the cars next to it, but with all cars within a certain range.
“Now you can start thinking about path planning,” Malladi said, “This is a glimpse of what’s possible” with fully autonomous driving.
The C-V2X chipset is Qualcomm’s latest demonstration of its interest in the automotive market. Last fall, Qualcomm reached a deal to acquire NXP Semiconductor for $47 billion to help it move into IOT and automotive.