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Legacy Mobile Players Pursue New Digital Chassis and Cockpit Collaborations

Two familiar names from the mobile tech space — BlackBerry and Qualcomm — have announced further collaborations in the automotive industry.

BlackBerry and automotive electronics giant Visteon announced Tuesday (Oct. 5) that they have expanded their collaborative work to accelerate the deployment of digital cockpit solutions for automakers and suppliers around the world. As part of the multi-year agreement, Visteon will use a range of BlackBerry QNX software and services to build next-generation digital consolidated cockpits, including digital instrument clusters for multiple auto manufacturers.

BlackBerry also announced that BlackBerry QNX royalty revenue backlog has increased to $490 million at the end of its first quarter of fiscal year 2022. This represents a 9% increase, from $450 million last year.

The companies previously collaborated on a digital instrument cluster project for a major Chinese original equipment manufacturer (OEM).

“Vehicle cabins will eventually evolve to serve drivers and passengers alike as all-in-one communication, information, productivity and entertainment hubs, and do so in a safe and secure manner,” Grant Courville, VP, products and strategy at BlackBerry QNX, told PYMNTS in an email interview. “Consumers can expect a personalized in-cabin experience that will be an extension of their digital life.”

‘A Personalized In-Cabin Experience’

What this will look like is up to the automakers, Courville added, but it will likely include a combination of media content, vehicle-specific information and personalized information.

“The automotive industry is undergoing a digital transformation and finds itself at a profound inflection point,” he added. “While the bulk of a car’s value was traditionally comprised of its mechanical, hardware and other physical components, software and connected services are quickly becoming the most important drivers of value, and a key differentiator, for automobile manufacturers.”

The car also is moving to more of a software platform that can support a broader ecosystem and car-centric applications. “This is why you are seeing so many acquisitions, alliances and new entrants in the automotive industry than ever before,” Courville explained. “The car is becoming a mobile platform that will present new, non-traditional business opportunities and cost savings for automakers and many others.”

Visteon’s product offering includes SmartCore domain controllers that help automakers accelerate the digital transformation of their cockpits with digital instrument clusters, Android-based infotainment, secure over-the-air updates and connected applications. The company has SmartCore business with 10 automotive customers, and expects the technology to be a key growth driver in the coming years.

“Our collaboration with BlackBerry QNX reflects our shared passion for innovation that helps our automotive customers stay ahead of the curve with future-proof cybersecurity solutions,” Bob Vallance, Visteon senior vice president, customer business groups and marketing, said in the press release.

Qualcomm to Incorporate New Assets Into Digital Chassis

Qualcomm and investment partnership SSW Partners announced on Monday (Oct. 4) that they have reached a definitive agreement to acquire Veoneer, an automotive technology company that offers software, hardware and systems for occupant protection, advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), and collaborative and automated driving to OEMs globally. At closing, SSW Partners will acquire all of the outstanding capital stock of Veoneer, shortly after which it will sell the Arriver business to Qualcomm and retain Veoneer’s Tier-1 supplier business.

Arriver is a software brand focused on sensor perception and drive policy. It was created this year for the delivery of scalable ADAS, collaborative and autonomous driving solutions.

Qualcomm will incorporate Arriver’s Computer Vision, Drive Policy and Driver Assistance assets into its Snapdragon Ride ADAS solution. This will augment Qualcomm’s ability to deliver an open and competitive ADAS platform for automakers and Tier-1s at scale.

“Qualcomm is the natural owner of Arriver,” Cristiano Amon, president and CEO of Qualcomm Incorporated, said in a press release. “By integrating these assets, Qualcomm accelerates its ability to deliver a leading and horizontal ADAS solution as part of its digital chassis platform.”

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