Stellantis partners with Qualcomm for 5G vehicle updates

Breana Noble
The Detroit News

The maker of Jeep SUVs and Ram pickup trucks is adding another Silicon Valley partner to enhance the work it's doing to bring greater connectivity to future vehicles.

Stellantis NV on Thursday said it will make use of Qualcomm Technologies Inc.'s Snapdragon Automotive Platforms. They will support the development of Stellantis' electronics architecture platform STLA Brain and the infotainment-focused STLA SmartCockpit that will be deployed starting in 2024 with the Maserati luxury brand and eventually to all 14 Stellantis brands.

Stellntis NV and Qualcomm Technologies Inc. will collaborate for connected vehicles.

Stellantis has highlighted software as one of its key pillars in its transformation toward a tech mobility company and a way to differentiate its brands and vehicles from the competition. The automaker is investing $35.5 billion into electrification and software and has predicted software alone will be a $22.5 billion business for it by 2030. It has formed partnerships with Inc. and iPhone contract manufacturer Foxconn Technology Group to design and engineer its STLA SmartCockpit platform.

“Our technology collaboration with Qualcomm Technologies is another example of how we are identifying industry leaders to work alongside our passionate and talented internal teams as we transform our vehicles through a software-defined approach," Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares said in a statement. "This will ultimately better meet the needs of our customers’ lifestyles through safe, personalized, and always-connected features."

Financial terms of the multi-year agreement with San Diego's Qualcomm weren't specified. Snapdragon will offer high-performance computing power for faster in-car communication and 5G connectivity for the telematics systems in Stellantis vehicles used to provide over-the-air updates for repairs, diagnostics, new features, on-demand functions and performance upgrades such as horsepower.

For consumers, that means high-definition graphics, a voice-controlled cockpit console, premium audio, clear voice communications and personalization enhanced by artificial intelligence, according to the companies.

They added that the partnership contributes to securing Stellantis’ supply chain on "strategic components." The industry today battles a shortage of semiconductors, a situation that Tavares said this week doesn't look improved over last year. Windsor Assembly Plant, home of the Chrysler Pacifica minivan, took downtime starting Wednesday afternoon and continuing Thursday because of too few microchips.

Qualcomm has its background in the auto sector in modern telematics as well as advanced driver-assistance systems. It's announced similar partnerships with General Motors Co., Renault SA and Ferrari SpA and says it has a $13 billion automotive pipeline.

“Qualcomm is honored to expand our work with Stellantis to redefine vehicles in the 21st century by bringing Snapdragon Digital Chassis solutions to their future vehicles,” Qualcomm CEO Cristiano Amon said in a statement. “By creating open, scalable, and comprehensive automotive platforms that encompass semiconductors, systems, software, and services, we are empowering Stellantis, as well as the broader automotive ecosystem, to lead the transformation to the digital era of automobiles.”

Twitter: @BreanaCNoble