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Qualcomm Bolsters Automotive Presence with One More Deal

Qualcomm has inked a deal with Stellantis, the world’s fourth-largest automaker.  Stellantis controls a large number of iconic brands including Fiat, Jeep, Peugeot, Chrysler and Maserati. Stellantis will power its new vehicles with Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Digital Chassis, which Qualcomm introduced during the IAA Mobility show in 2021. Snapdragon Digital Chassis, with its modular approach, enables automakers to build connected and smart vehicles, and meet the ever-growing demand for safer and more intelligent cars.

Digital Chassis is a set of open and scalable cloud-connected platforms to improve safety and the in-vehicle experience. It includes:

Snapdragon Car-to-Cloud: a platform that allows automakers to generate new revenue streams by introducing new services, features, and performance upgrades to the vehicle.

Snapdragon Auto Connectivity: provides a host of advanced connectivity solutions, where Qualcomm is the leader globally like 5G, C-V2X, LTE, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, GPS/GNSS, etc for connecting the car to the cloud, internet and the infrastructure.

Snapdragon Ride: offers advanced driver assistance and automated driving solutions which is further enhanced with the recent acquisition of Arriver.

Snapdragon Cockpit: allows automakers to provide a more immersive in-car experience with enhanced graphics, visuals and intuitive human-machine interactions

Source: Qualcomm

The multi-year partnership

Stellantis will use Snapdragon Digital Chassis across all its 14 brands to provide smarter vehicles and a more immersive in-vehicle experience. The technology will be introduced in vehicles from the year 2024 and starts with the luxury brand Maserati.

In December 2021, Stellantis announced its plans to develop software-based platforms powered by artificial intelligence (AI) and will deploy them in vehicles from 2024. There will be three platforms: STLA Brain, STLA SmartCockpit and STLA AutoDrive.

The STLA Brain is the new electrical/electronic (E/E) and software architecture for new vehicles. It is fully cloud-integrated to provide Over-the-Air (OTA) capabilities. STLA SmartCockpit is built on top of the STLA Brain and offers AI-based applications like navigation, voice assistance, and in-vehicle payments. The STLA AutoDrive platform provides level 3 autonomous driving technology, which Stellantis is co-developing with BMW.

Source: Stellantis

The STLA SmartCockpit is designed with Amazon and Foxconn to deliver a connected and personalized in-vehicle experience and Qualcomm’s Digital Chassis will be integral to SmartCockpit.  The Snapdragon Cockpit Platform will power an advanced touch and voice-controlled multi-display cockpit, with rich graphics, high-quality audio, and clear voice communications. The Snapdragon Cockpit Platform will bring additional levels of digital intelligence to enhance the STLA Brain, improving convenience and safety features, including a personal assistant, OTA updates, vehicle performance upgrades, diagnostics and repair, and more.

Source: Qualcomm

Key Takeaways

  • Qualcomm is cementing its position as a leading technology provider in the automotive industry with this deal. Its automotive segment revenue is growing strongly; its automotive design-win pipeline increased to $13 billion in 2021 from $3 billion in 2017.
  • Stellantis will be able to bring one uniform cockpit platform and 5G telematics solutions across all 14 of its brands.
  • Working directly with the chipmaker, Stellantis can closely monitor the supply chain to avoid, or limit, supply-chain disruptions such as the ones the auto industry has experienced recently.
  • Since the launch of Snapdragon Digital Chassis, Qualcomm has signed partnerships with major global players including Renault, GM, Ferrari, Honda, and Volvo.
  • Major wins so far have come from the digital cockpit and connectivity solutions, while a few (GM and BMW) are for the Snapdragon ride (ADAS/AD) platform. With the acquisition of Arriver, Qualcomm is likely to sign more deals with Tier-1s and automakers in the future to expand its automotive pipeline.
Source: Counterpoint

5G Connected Cars to Grab 40% of China Market by 2025

Beijing, Hong Kong, New Delhi, London, Seoul, Buenos Aires, San Diego December 18, 2020

5G connected car sales volume in China will jump to 7.1 million units in 2025, accounting for 40% of the country’s total connected car sales volume, according to the latest research by Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive service. Currently, 4G dominates China’s connected car market. The sales volume of 4G connected cars are expected to reach 7.8 million units in 2020 to account for 95% of the country’s total connected car sales volume. However, with 5G seeing a fast rollout in China and the automotive industry expected to grow faster starting 2021, the share of 5G connected car sales volume will show rapid growth. Government incentives such as a plan to issue US$535.6 billion (RMB 3.7 trillion) special-purpose bonds in 2020 to promote strategic sectors like 5G, Made in China 2025 will also drive 5G adoption by China’s automotive industry. The three state-owned telecom operators in China – China Mobile, China Unicom, and China Telecom – are expected to invest around $184 billion in 5G networks by 2025.

Commenting on the dynamics of China’s connected car market, Senior Analyst Aman Madhok said, ”Despite the impact of COVID-19, China’s connected car sales volume are expected to reach 8.2 million units in 2020, a slight increase of 0.8% YoY from the 8.1 million units shipped in 2019. In terms of the global share, China is expected to grab 26.8% of the sales volume in 2020, becoming the second-largest connected car market. With a projected share of 30%, the US will continue to lead the market while Europe will take the third spot, but with almost the same volume as China.

Exhibit 1: Global Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Country, 2020

Counterpoint Research - Global Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Country, 2020
Source: Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive Service

Looking from the brand perspective, Research Associate Alicia Gong said, “Foreign brands control almost three-quarters of China’s connected car sales volume. Volkswagen Group is the market leader with a 25% share, followed by General Motors and Mercedes Benz. Among local brands, which account for just 12% of the sales volume, Changan is the leader with a 4% share, followed by Geely and SAIC.”

Exhibit 2: Projection for China Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Brand, 2020

 

Counterpoint Projection for China Connected Car Sales Volume Share by Brand, 2020
Source: Counterpoint’s Smart Automotive Service

Another point worth mentioning here is that luxury brands Mercedes Benz, BMW, and Audi have been offering 4G connectivity in most cars since Q1 2019. After Huawei released the world’s first 5G telematics module (MH5000) in April 2019, Audi quickly deployed it in its passenger cars and showcased it at the Beijing-Chongli Expressway demonstration in 2019-end. We expect Audi to launch these models soon, followed by other brands.

The comprehensive and in-depth ‘Global Connected Car Tracker 2020’ is now available for purchase at report.counterpointresearch.com. Feel free to reach out to us at press(at)counterpointresearch.com for further questions regarding our latest research and insights, or for press enquiries.

Background:

Counterpoint Technology Market Research is a global research firm specializing in technology products in the TMT industry. It services major technology and financial firms with a mix of monthly reports, customized projects, and detailed analysis of the mobile and technology markets. Its key analysts are experts in the industry with an average tenure of 13 years in the high-tech industry.

Analyst Contacts:

Alicia Gong

Aman Madhok

Counterpoint Research
press(at)counterpointresearch.com

Related Posts

Government Push to Make China a Leader in 5G Connected Cars

Increasing need for real-time cloud computing and fast cloud-car communication is creating a market for 5G-enabled connected cars. Counterpoint estimates that one out of every four connected cars sold in 2025 will have embedded 5G connectivity. China will account for a majority of such cars sold in the next five years.

The Chinese government support for 5G is the key factor responsible for making the country the preferred place for automakers to launch 5G connected cars. China’s top-down approach and the ability to bridge public-private divide through state-owned enterprises is speeding up 5G deployment. Clear road map and investment from the government is creating an environment for 5G that has not been seen anywhere else in the world. For instance, China plans to issue US$535.6 billion (RMB3.75 trillon) special purpose bonds in 2020 to promote development of strategic infrastructure, including 5G network. Furthermore, 5G R&D is being promoted for the last many years.

Initiatives Taken by Chinese Government During Last Decade

Counterpoint: Initiatives taken by Chinese government to promote 5G connected cars

Push from state-owned telecom operators

The three big telecom operators in China – China Mobile, China Unicom and China Telecom – are expected to invest around $184 billion in 5G network by 2025. All the three operators support cooperation in the ecosystem.

  • In 2016, China Mobile along with its 11 partners launched 5G Joint Innovation Centre to promote industry collaboration.
  • In 2018, China Mobile partnered with Baidu for the Apollo open source software platform for autonomous driving.
  • In 2017, China Unicom, ZTE, Datang, FAW and Ford entered a collaboration for pre-crash warning for pedestrians.
  • In 2019, China Unicom and Chery signed an agreement to expand their partnership for 5G, connected and autonomous vehicles.
  • In the 2017 Mobile World Congress, China Mobile, SAIC Motor and Huawei demonstrated the world’s first 5G-based remote driving.
  • In 2019, China Mobile and China Unicom agreed to mutualise their 5G network deployment till 2026 to ensure faster deployment and save $47 billion during 2019-2026.
  • In 2020, Volvo partnered China Unicom to explore V2X and other use cases requiring 5G network.

More than 480,000 5G stations have already been set up in China this year, well on track to reach the 2020 target of 500,000 5G stations.

Definitive industry announcements

Years of efforts on research, deployment and testing of 5G use cases have finally led to building of industry confidence in China.

  • In 2019, Geely announced to offer 5G connected V2X-enabled vehicles in China starting 2021.
  • In 2020, GM announced to equip all new Cadillac models and most Buick and Chevrolet cars in China with 5G by 2022.
  • In 2020, Huawei partnered with 18 automakers to build a 5G-enabled automotive ecosystem for faster deployment of such vehicles in the country.

Tesla Q4 2019: Remains Profitable; Focuses on Fast Growth

Tesla posted its Q4 2019 results, increasing its total automotive revenues in 2019 over 2018. Even though the company managed profitability for two consecutive quarters (Q3 and Q4), it posted a loss for full-year 2019. Below are the key takeaways from Tesla’s Q4 2019 earnings call:

Financials – Tesla’s automotive revenues increased from US$18.5 billion in 2018 to US$20.8 billion in 2019. The revenue benefited from growing deliveries, but was adversely affected by an increasing lease mix, an increasing share of cheaper (and less profitable) Model 3 cars, the introduction of lower-priced Standard Range Model 3 and adjustments in vehicle pricing. While the company remained profitable during Q3 and Q4 2019 (at US$ 105 million), it lost US$ 862 million for the full year of 2019.

Model Y to Launch Early with Extended Range – Tesla announced that it will begin delivering Performance and Long Range variants of Model Y by March 2020, months ahead of scheduled launch during ‘fall 2020’. The all-wheel-drive Model Y will also come with an extended Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) range of 315 miles compared to the previously announced 218 miles. However, the cheaper standard variant of Model Y with a range of 230 miles will only be launched during 2021.

The early launch is likely a response to Ford’s Mustang Mach E, which is similarly sized and priced. The increased range of the Model Y will act as a competitive advantage against the Mustang and other similarly priced EVs from mainstream manufacturers.

In addition, with the early launch, Tesla can cash in on the initial demand and buzz around Model Y. With the company expecting higher margins on Model Y compared to Model 3, an increasing share of Model Y should benefit the company on both top and bottom lines. Tesla is aiming for localisation in components and manufacturing for Model Y in the US, Europe, and China, which will help it to better manage its costs.

Exhibit 1: Tesla Cars Production and Deliveries in 2019

Counterpoint Tesla Production and Deliveries in 2019

Premium Connectivity – In December 2019, Tesla announced a US$10 monthly subscription plan for premium connectivity, which uses an additional cellular connection (along with wifi in standard connectivity) and adds services like live traffic visualization, in-car streaming music & media. All cars sold before July 2018 already have life-time premium connectivity included.

There are close to a million Teslas on the road, and it is important for Tesla to access the valuable driver data. However, the increasing number of vehicles on the road is also increasing the cost of data uploaded/downloaded to the car. To offset some of this expense and to open new revenue streams, the company has introduced subscription plans for premium connectivity.

Tesla Insurance – Tesla is increasing its focus on insurance services, and plans to extend its insurance services beyond California. Tesla can make use of the driver data it collects from (connected) cars to better offer its services and price them competitively compared to competitors.

Forecast – The company forecasted more than 500,000 unit sales during 2020. Despite declining Tesla sales in the US, and a slowdown in China, Counterpoint expects Tesla to achieve its target of selling more than 500,000 vehicles during 2020, driven by increasing Model 3 sales in China. Tesla is also planning to develop Model Y capacity in China to be at least equivalent to its Model 3 capacity of 150,000 cars per year. China is a huge market for EVs and Tesla will get good initial demand thanks to its brand image and popularity among young, tech savvy market segments. The sales will also benefit from growing European demand.

Demand for Tesla remains strong, with the company maintaining a low inventory of 11 days during Q4 2019. Tesla noted that most of its orders in 2019 came from new customers having no prior reservations, indicating an increasing reach for the company.

Post Event Coverage: A Data-Driven Future: The Future of Mobility and Transportation in 2039

Western Digital X WIRED @Milpitas, California

As the automotive industry transforms itself around automation, connectivity, and alternative forms of energy, the future of transportation is indeed looking completely different. Creating this future of transportation isn’t easy, but it is anticipated that it can lead to lower congestion, fewer vehicular accidents, and reduced pollution.

Looking 20 years into the future, Western Digital (WD) and WIRED, bought together last week several thought leaders, engineers, and technical experts, including Counterpoint analysts at WD’s corporate facility in Milpitas, California, to uncover the key drivers of change in the automotive ecosystem.

An immersive tech-driven experience, simulating an autonomous vehicle, was also specially set-up for the delegates, providing a live demonstration of what it will be like to be encased by the interactive screens of an autonomous car. There was no wheel to be behind on!

Autonomous Vehicles Readiness: Technology vs Regulations

Kicking off discussions in the backdrop of an unfortunate incident last year, which lead to the tragic death of a pedestrian hit by an autonomous vehicle under test by Uber in Tempe, Arizona, Miriam Chaum, head of Public Policy for Self-Driving cars for Uber, soberly narrated how Uber had learned an incredible amount through the process, and remained deeply regretful for the collision that occurred. Since that episode, Uber has resumed testing of its self-driving cars in Pittsburgh, with two persons now on standby alert in all vehicles, ready to take emergency control if needed. Arizona too had immediately mandated autonomous driving developers to further review their safety processes, resulting in a public trust issue, as communities and municipalities debated whether to allow self-driving vehicles to be tested on their roads at all.

Bryant Walker Smith, associate professor at the University of South Carolina’s School of Law, emphasized that “Automated driving safety does not simply come down to a test. It is not a one-time occurrence, but a lifelong commitment, much like a marriage.”

Evidently, the major dilemma faced by the autonomous vehicle industry and communities is that, in the absence of clear regulatory standards in the U.S, how do they feel about testing such self-driven vehicles on public streets? Paradoxically, while the tech industry has grown fearful of government interventions over data privacy and antitrust issues, it appears that the autonomous vehicle industry is pro-actively seeking regulatory guidelines. Unfortunately, the initial attempts by Congress to pass legislation on the use of autonomous vehicles, have been stalled in the Senate.

Supporting the case for urgent regulatory developments, Robert Grant, VP Government Affairs at GM Cruise, clarified that “Nobody in the industry, including Cruise, was advocating against government regulation”, with the innumerable variables and inputs that needed to be managed, and as “there still remains a lot that needs to be understood.”

Grant’s conclusions around the complexity of the technology, underscore the core issue that is raising doubts in everybody’s mind, i.e. can we really come to terms in trusting a self-driving, computer-controlled vehicle to make the right decision at all times? Autonomous technology requires automakers to pack in and prove out unprecedented levels of intelligence and processing capability into their vehicles – something that OEMs have never been done before.

Autonomous Vehicles to Reshape Transportation

As vehicles evolve to be perpetually connected and autonomous, the future of vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication is correspondingly getting extremely complex, as they must learn to “talk” with everything on the road. Communicating consistently and flawlessly between a diverse range of on-board computers, radar and sensors are critical to preventing collisions, avoiding pedestrians, reducing traffic and much more – all while transmitting split-second driving decisions processed through the edge or cloud. Technologist, pushing boundaries, are continually evaluating the role of data, infrastructure, and the technology ecosystem necessary to deploy smarter and safer vehicles, as well as to enable mobility as a service (MaaS).

Despite the various issues surrounding self-driving vehicles, major players will continue to pursue a vision that will ultimately reshape transportation, particularly in heavily urbanized areas of the world. For example, in Los Angeles, infamous for its traffic congestion, a public-private collaboration has recently been established to facilitate innovative transport solutions. Termed “Urban Movement Labs”, the alliance brings together city transportation agencies and private sector players like Waymo, Lyft, and Verizon to develop alternate transit options, including self-driving technology.

As technology and use cases move forward, Uber’s Miriam Chaum confirmed that more and more cities are expressing interest in planning their transportation systems to be future-ready. There is an acknowledgement and growing awareness now of many other broader possibilities for this emerging technology, and on their beneficial applications within the transportation sector.

In concluding, by 2039, along with emerging developments in AI, self-driving cars will need to continually address cybersecurity issues, technological barriers, regulatory concerns and reliability challenges to win the confidence of transportation departments and commuters. Connectivity will also generate valuable automotive data, creating newer opportunities for safer, more comfortable rides. However, even 20 years from now, autonomous technology will still have a long way to go.

Transforming Two Wheeler Rides with Connected Technology

As the automotive industry veers towards digitalization, vehicle telematics solutions are transforming connected two-wheelers (2W) from concept to reality. While modern commercial and passenger vehicles are already integrated with mainstream telematics and driver assistance features, the current wave of digital connectivity is now rapidly progressing into the 2W category as well.

Why the Push for Digital Innovations in the 2W Category?

Two critical and specific user factors for 2W owners have been primary drivers so far:

  1. Prevention of road accidents
  • Based on statistics from around the world, road accidents involving 2W have been on a steady rise in recent years
  • Detailed analysis of such 2W accidents have identified driver distraction, failure of perception and control, and over speeding as the three main causes for such incidents
  • Increasing safety regulations and innovative technological solutions are urgently being developed to avoid such instances, and to ensure the safety of riders and other road users
  1. Vulnerability to theft
  • Stolen 2W incidents too have seen a steady increase
  • Lack of  a reliable solution for tracking stolen 2Ws, and not having a real-time alert system  of a theft attempt to the owner, are attributed as possible causes for an increase in such criminal incidents

The Connected Motorcycle Consortium

In 2016, BMW Motorrad, Honda, and Yamaha together founded the Connected Motorcycle Consortium (CMC). Followed soon after, by Kawasaki, KTM, and Suzuki, the primary mission of CMC is to establish the basis for innovating on technology that integrates motorcycles in a cooperative, intelligent transport system (C-ITS), ensuring safety on-road through connectivity and networked communications between them.

The consortium’s objective is to establish a harmonized standard for motorcycle connectivity systems so that motorcycles can communicate with other vehicles on the road, to provide safety alerts and collision avoidance. CMC conducts tests on how connectivity and networked communications can be at the core of a new generation of safer and smarter bikes.

Tests have revealed that connected systems developed for cars and trucks are mostly incompatible with 2Ws, mainly because of their particular dynamic properties. For members of the CMC, integration to such networked automotive safety system necessitates the development of Vehicle-to-Vehicle (V2V) technology that will be compatible not only across all 2W OEMs but also across all types of vehicles.

Exhibit 1: Examples of Key Connected Features in Two Wheelers – Ather S340

A Need for New Collaborations

The need for digitally connected 2Ws offers collaboration opportunities among automotive manufacturers, suppliers, technology companies, telecom operators, insurance firms, government policymakers, and transport operators. Altogether, these stakeholders need to ensure a superior 2W riding experience, with enhanced safety offered through technological advancements.

Leading global automotive suppliers and telecom service providers, like Bosch and Vodafone, have already developed future-ready solutions for automotive connected features, partnering with other technology companies, to enable mobile connectivity for this next-generation 2Ws.

Exhibit 2:  Key Features in Connected Two Wheelers by BOSCH and Vodafone

Introducing Connected 2Ws in India

So, how are vehicle telematics and digitalization changing the ride experience in India, the world’s largest 2W market, where affordability is critical?

With the rapid pace of innovation happening in the country’s 2W industry, the mainstream embedding of vehicle telematics is increasing, and the impact is palpable.  Riding is no longer just two wheels and an engine,  staying connected on-the-go is also becoming popular. Be it turn-by-turn navigation, or to control music, having a smarter riding experience is now a key consideration that 2W riders want. Exhibit 3 shows the most affordable 2Ws available in India, offered with connectivity features.

Exhibit 3:  Affordable Two Wheelers in India, offering Connectivity Features

Conclusion

With 2W manufacturers introducing their next generation of intelligent motorbikes and scooters with integrated telematics and smart-assistance capabilities, expect digital applications and features to become mainstream soon around the world. It will eventually evolve the 2W driving experience, make it safer, and take it to a whole new level.

Associated Reports Available on Research Portal

Indian Automotive Electronics Market to Triple by 2025

The report covers passenger cars, two-wheelers, three-wheelers, and commercial vehicles sales in India from leading automakers, with a focus on automotive electronics sales forecast.

Vehicle sales in India are demonstrating on a downward in 2019, affected by factors including moderating economy and liquidity crisis of Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFC). The market, however,  is expected to gradually recover during the forecast period, registering a CAGR of 5.1%.

Automotive electronics sales are projected to triple during the period, driven primarily by rising income levels and the growing customer preference for in-vehicle digital experience.

Indian Two-Wheeler Electronics Market to Triple by 2025

The report covers two-wheeler sales from leading automakers like Hero MotoCorp and Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India, including electronics (telematics, others) sales forecast.

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