Qualcomm is poised to dominate EVs before Apple has a chance

Perhaps crucially, Qualcomm also claims that its digital chassis enables automakers to “own the in-car experience… [and] extend their brand and bring engaging consumer interactions into the vehicle. This will be particularly welcomed by manufacturers after last June’s announcement of Apple’s next-gen multi-screen version of CarPlay, which is unlikely to be as collaborative as Qualcomm’s offering. Indeed, when CarPlay 2 was announced, WIRED reached out to a number of major automakers for comment on the Cupertino system, only to find that it seemed like the companies had no idea what the news was and the potential impact on their dominance over theirs. car user interfaces, was coming.

The Digital Chassis system is designed to work in all regions and in all vehicle types, and Qualcomm hopes the chassis will “inspire new business models for automakers” that go beyond just selling and marketing. car maintenance.

If you thought paying for heated seats was bad…

In addition to in-car games, these new business models will also include drivers being asked to pay to unlock features already installed in their vehicle. BMW has caused controversy by suggesting that heated seats already fitted to a car would require a subscription to work. Mercedes will soon be asking drivers to pay $1,200 to unlock more performance, hidden behind a paywall in their electric vehicle’s code. The latest Polestar 2 model can be made more powerful by purchasing the Performance Pack, which arrives via software update, no key required.

In addition to software and connectivity, tech companies can help automakers, especially startups, with mass production. Such collaboration can be found with Fisker and Foxconn. The former is a California-based electric vehicle startup led by former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, and the latter is a Taiwanese company best known for assembling iPhones. The two plan to co-develop a roughly $30,000 electric vehicle that is expected to go into production at an Ohio plant in 2024.

Fisker said in 2021 that Foxconn will help develop, source and manufacture the products, and the partnership will allow his company to provide products “at a price that truly opens electric mobility to the mass market.”

Not wishing to put all its automotive eggs in one basket, Foxconn is also involved in a joint venture with Chinese automotive giant Geely, parent of Volvo, Polestar and Lotus among others. Similarly, Pegatron, another Taiwanese company responsible for assembling iPhones, is now also a manufacturing partner of Tesla.

Finding a technology partner could soon be of the utmost importance for automotive brands that have yet to fully embrace advanced infotainment, driver assistance and connectivity systems. Lei Zhou, a partner at Deloitte Tohmatsu Consulting, told WIRED it’s “very likely” that automakers that go it alone with their own technology risk being left behind.

Zhou added, “If conventional OEMs develop connected technologies with their current capabilities, they could find themselves left behind by emerging EV makers with computer backgrounds or OEMs that have partnered with powerful technology partners. …significant value can be generated by collaborating with a variety of actors. , including the fields of technology and business.

And what does Apple do?

The reverse is also true, where tech companies wanting to develop their first car need help from automakers with manufacturing experience.

Tyson Jominy, Vice President of Automotive Consulting at JD Power, told WIRED: “Tesla, Rivian, Dyson, Lucid and others have all done the process of designing a car very well. But when you get down to to building a car, it’s very difficult. When a lot of startups have problems, it’s [because] mass-produce cars on a large scale is difficult. So associating makes sense.


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