The News: Qualcomm Technologies, Google and Renault Group announced a partnership to bring immersive in-vehicle experiences to Renault’s new Mégane E-TECH Electric vehicle, which was unveiled this week at IAA Mobility 2021 in Munich, Germany. The European automaker Renault, will utilize the 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platform from Qualcomm to power the infotainment system. Each infotainment system will come equipped with Google apps and services such as Google Assistant and Google Maps to further provide an intelligent experience for drivers and passengers. Read the full press release from Qualcomm here.
Qualcomm, Google, and Renault Group Partner to Bring Immersive In-Vehicle Experiences
Analyst Take: This partnership between Qualcomm, Google, and Renault Group is an exciting development for the electric vehicle segment of the automotive space. Electric vehicle production is increasing across the globe, but until this point not many new electric vehicles offered premium connectivity and in-vehicle experiences. This announcement will bring Qualcomm’s automotive ecosystem offering, with the reliability and popularity of Google’s services to Renault’s newest electric vehicle, which will soon be available to a wide swath of consumers. This connectivity and partnership will help define the next generation of the automotive industry as electric vehicles become a bigger piece of automotive fleet offerings.
Exploring the Details of the Qualcomm, Google, and Renault Group Partnership
Immersive, personalized in-vehicle experiences has been a key goal for many automakers in the last few years. Nearly every car is equipped with sensors and complex infotainment centers that are designed to meet the needs of drivers and passengers, but most have not risen to the level of personalization that consumers are used to receiving elsewhere — especially in the EV space. Qualcomm’s partnership with Google and Renault will change that. Pairing Qualcomm’s 3rd Generation Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit Platforms with Google’s apps and services powered by Android Automotive Operating System (AAOS) will offer highly intuitive AI-driven experiences for in-car assistance and safety uses in Renault’s Mégane E-TECH Electric. The new vehicle is expected to go on sale next year.
This is the second major automotive partnership for Qualcomm, who previously announced a partnership to supply chips to GM vehicles, but this is the first specifically for electric vehicle production.
What Else is Happening at IAA Mobility 2021?
As mentioned in earlier coverage of this event, one thing is for certain: this week at IAA Mobility 2021 is showcasing that semiconductors, software, and connectivity are definitely the future of the automotive industry.
The macro trend at this event shows a significant pivot away from the traditional OEM and Tier 1+ vehicle design and build path, to an industry that will be driven by powerful compute architectures, digital chassis, connected ecosystems, and upgradability on demand.
While Tesla, for instance, has built a reputation for leading on many of these trends, the OEM industry isn’t laying down. Companies like Volkswagen group, BMW, Mercedes, Hyundai, and others were diligently speaking to this transformation. The Renault, Google, and Qualcomm partnership is just another example of a company heading in the direction of building scalable architectures that can be updated with software, and powered by next generation semiconductors.
In sum, there are some exciting things ahead for the automotive industry, specifically electrical vehicles. As we know, in about a decade our roadways will primarily be filled with electric vehicles so it’s good to see Qualcomm, Google, and Renault partner to bring immersive experiences to these vehicles now. I expect to see similar partnerships from Intel, Qualcomm, and other automotive manufactures moving forward.
Disclosure: Futurum Research is a research and advisory firm that engages or has engaged in research, analysis, and advisory services with many technology companies, including those mentioned in this article. The author does not hold any equity positions with any company mentioned in this article.