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Makers of chips, cars, software, team up for automated driving

Qualcomm, BMW and Arriver agree on strategic cooperation for joint development of automated driving software solutions

Automated Driving (AD) technologies will receive a boost from an agreement for a strategic cooperation between Qualcomm Technologies, BMW Group and Arriver Software.

The agreement will focus on joint development of next-generation AD technologies, ranging from a New Car Assessment Program (NCAP), and Level 2 Advanced Driving Assistance Systems, to Level 3 High Automated Driving functionalities. These levels are steps towards fully autonomous cars that will drive themselves, at Level 5.

The co-development of software functions is based on the current BMW Automated Driving software stack first launched with the BMW iX (look out for a review in GadgetWheels) in 2021, and which will be further extended in the next generation through this cooperation. In November 2021, the companies announced that BMW’s next generation Automated Driving System will be ported on the Snapdragon Ride Vision system-on-chip (SoC). This includes Arriver Computer Vision software and the Snapdragon Ride Platform’s compute SoC controllers managed by Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud Services platform.

The efforts will focus on creating a scalable platform for automated driving based on a common reference architecture, sensor-set specifications, and safety requirements with joint development, toolchain, and a data center for storage, reprocessing, and simulation. The cooperation will see more than 1,400 specialists working together in locations worldwide, including Germany, USA, Sweden, China, Romania, and the BMW AD Test Centre in Czechia. 

Nicolai Martin, senior VP of driving experience, BMW Group, says: “This joint software development is an important milestone for the BMW Group with regards to our next generation Automated Driving platform. To enable sophisticated and safe functionalities in a vehicle you need state-of-the art software in all components of the digital value chain. This forms the backbone for intelligent driver assistance systems. The BMW Group is excited to further extend our partnership with global technology leaders Qualcomm Technologies and Arriver to include a long-lasting strategic co-development cooperation in order to continue delivering world-class driving experiences to our customers.” .

“We are proud of this long-term cooperation with the BMW Group and Arriver which focuses on co-development and deployment of Automated Driving systems from NCAP to Level 3 customer functionality in BMW upcoming series production vehicles,” says Nakul Duggal, senior VP and general manager of automotive, Qualcomm Technologies. ”Building on already commercialised stack components from BMW Group and Arriver, this cooperation will position us to extend BMW Automated Drive software to the Snapdragon Ride platform, and expand the accessibility of safer self-driving technologies to other automakers and Tier-1s in an open, flexible and scalable deployment framework.  We believe Snapdragon Ride will create significant economies of scale and time-to-market benefits across the automotive industry with the launch of the automated driving software globally in BMW’s series production vehicles, which have always been an exemplar of the highest quality, performance and safety standards in modern day automobiles.”  

Giuseppe Rosso, president and managing director, Arriver, says: “We are pleased that Arriver’s Vision Perception and market proven NCAP features will be combined with the BMW Automated Driving software stack. Joining forces with Qualcomm Technologies and BMW Group Arriver’s team will co-develop the next generation of open and scalable Drive Policy with world-class feature solutions and performance. This co-developed product will be offered to our customers globally. This cooperation is a key milestone for Arriver and a proof point of the rich competence of our teams through years of experience in ADAS & safety.” 

Qualcomm Technologies, BMW Group and Arriver are working closely together to establish and continuously develop an ecosystem for automated driving solutions but remain open to further partnerships.

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