Jakub Jirsák - stock.adobe.com

Qualcomm hits accelerator on connected vehicles with Autotalks acquisition plan

Adding mileage to its strategy to go up a gear with its automotive offers, mobile platform provider announces intention to buy specialist vehicle-to-everything fabless semiconductor company

Mobile platform giant Qualcomm has announced that subsidiary Qualcomm Technologies has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire fabless semiconductor company Autotalks.

Dedicated to vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communications since 2009, Autotalks provides automotive qualified dual-mode global V2X services compatible with multiple V2X standards designed to reduce collisions and improve mobility.

Putting the acquisition plans into context, Qualcomm noted that connectivity continues to play a pivotal role in the automotive industry’s digital transformation as it lays the foundations for next-generation software-defined vehicles that will enable new business models while transforming the driving experience with new services, personalisation, and most importantly, safety. It sees V2X communication technologies, designed to enable vehicles to communicate with one another and to their surrounding environment, as playing an increasingly important role as they become critical sensors for automotive safety systems.

Specifically, Qualcomm is confident that the combination of Autotalks’ expertise and industry-leading products with its 20 years of automotive industry experience and commitment to V2X aims will help accelerate the development and adoption of V2X offerings to improve traffic efficiency and help with driver and road user safety. 

Through the acquisition, subject to customary regulatory requirements, the production-ready, dual mode Autotalks standalone safety offerings will be incorporated into Qualcomm Technologies’ expanding Snapdragon Digital Chassis product portfolio, the company’s comprehensive set of cloud-connected automotive platforms.

“We have been investing in V2X research, development and deployment since 2017 and believe that as the automotive market matures, a standalone V2X safety architecture will be needed for enhanced road user safety, as well as smart transportation systems,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice-president and general manager of automotive at Qualcomm Technologies. “We share Autotalks’ decades-long experience and commitment to build V2X technologies and products with a focus on solving real-world road user safety challenges. We look forward to working together to deliver global V2X solutions that will help accelerate time-to-market and enable mass-market adoption of this very important safety technology.”

Hagai Zyss, CEO of Autotalks, added: “It has been our mission to revolutionise safety for the transportation and automotive industry through our V2X solutions. We are confident that by combining our knowledge and expertise, we will not only deliver strong V2X products that will enhance transportation efficiency and safety for road users, but will accelerate widespread adoption of V2X. We look forward to serving the auto industry together with Qualcomm and to bring the best technologies to market.”

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Potential customers and industry leaders have voiced positive support for the acquisition. “We’re working closely with Qualcomm Technologies to power our next-generation vehicles with cutting-edge technology and hardware enabling premium experiences in the space of automated driving for our customers,” said Dirk Hilgenberg, CEO of Cariad, a Volkswagen Group company.

“In this space, V2X communication technologies are increasingly important, and essential to ensure the safety of automotive systems, so we welcome these joint efforts.”

Scott Miller, vice-president of software-defined vehicle and operating systems at General Motors, said: “There are a number of promising benefits that V2X applications could deliver at scale, and we are eager to continue to work with companies like Qualcomm to find ways to bring those benefits to customers.

“The shift to electrification continues to pave the way for new innovations and technologies that will transform the customer experience, and GM is committed to moving quickly to do that in vehicles today and in the future.”

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