In the past few years, cars have become increasingly like smartphones. Besides getting you from place to place, your car can serve as another interface for digital services -- a tool you can use for communication, entertainment, commerce and more. It's no surprise, then, that the technology underpinning these capabilities comes from the same companies building your mobile devices, including Qualcomm.
Qualcomm chips power a huge number of smartphones, but the company sees promising opportunities in the auto business. On Thursday, the company announced that Stellantis is the latest major automaker to adopt Qualcomm's Snapdragon Digital Chassis -- a cloud-enabled platform for telematics, connectivity, digital cockpit, and ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems). Beginning in 2024, the deal will bring more intelligent and immersive experiences to Stellantis' 14 brands, including Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep and Maserati.
"This will ultimately better meet the needs of our customers' lifestyles through safe, personalized, and always-connected features," Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement.
Among other things, the deal involves Stellantis using Snapdragon Cockpit Platforms to power in-car communication and infotainment systems. Stellantis is building the STLA SmartCockpit system jointly with Amazon and Foxconn. The first Qualcomm-powered systems will be in the Maserati brand.
In Qualcomm's last quarterly report, the company reported $10.7 billion in revenue, with just $256 million coming from automotive. Still, the segment grew 21% year-over-year. The company's other major automotive customers include General Motors, BMW and Renault Group.
"Overall, automotive is a good story for Qualcomm," Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said during the company's Q1 conference call in February. "It's something that we can actually take a platform approach and take some of the things we have done in mobile... take the technology to scale up and down to every tier of automobile. And I think we're just in the beginning of having more ADAS design wins and having the chassis be recognized as a key platform going forward."