Qualcomm wants to make it easier to build semi-autonomous cars

Snapdragon Ride Vision is open and scales to more cars.

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Qualcomm Snapdragon Digital Chassis
Qualcomm's Snapdragon Digital Chassis. Qualcomm

Qualcomm believes it can widen the field for semi-autonomous driving features, and it's launching a new platform to make that happen. The company has unveiled a Snapdragon Ride Vision platform that combines a 4-nanometer system-on-chip with Arriver's computer vision software to give automakers an "open, scalable and modular" way to build Level 2 driver assists and Level 3 partial autonomy into their cars.

Snapdragon Ride Vision can help cars detect road geometry, pedestrians and other cars using 8MP wide-angle cameras. It can also handle driver monitoring (to keep your hands or eyes focused on driving) and perception for near-field parking cameras. More importantly, the system is flexible — car designers can customize it to fit new vehicles and update features over the air.

The platform won't be ready for vehicle production until 2024. That's a long time to wait, particularly when Intel's Mobileye and NVIDIA are teasing chips capable of full self-driving. Still, Qualcomm might have an edge simply by making automated driving features more accessible. Snapdragon Ride Vision works with "virtually all" car price ranges and categories, Qualcomm said — this could be key to semi-autonomy in cars where the tech was previously impractical.

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