Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride platform designed for autonomous vehicles

January 8, 2020  - By
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Qualcomm Technologies unveiled at CES 2020 its newest addition to the company’s portfolio of automotive products — the Qualcomm Snapdragon Ride Platform.

Snapdragon Ride is an advanced, scalable and open autonomous driving solution consisting of the family of Snapdragon Ride Safety system-on-chips (SoCs), Snapdragon Ride Safety Accelerator and Snapdragon Ride Autonomous Stack.

CES 2020, the massive annual consumer electronics show, is taking place Jan. 7-10 in Las Vegas.

Snapdragon Ride aims to address the complexity of autonomous driving and ADAS by leveraging its high-performance, power-efficient hardware, industry-leading artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and pioneering autonomous driving stack to deliver a comprehensive, cost and energy efficient systems solution.

The unique combination of Snapdragon Ride SoCs, accelerator and autonomous stack offers automakers a scalable solution designed to support three industry segments of autonomous systems, namely L1/L2 Active Safety ADAS for vehicles that include automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assist functions; L2+ Convenience ADAS for vehicles featuring Automated Highway Driving, Self-Parking and Urban Driving in Stop-and-Go traffic; and L4/L5 Fully Autonomous Driving for autonomous urban driving, robo-taxis and robo-logistics.

The Snapdragon Ride Platform, based on the Snapdragon family of automotive SoCs and accelerator, is built on scalable and modular heterogeneous high-performance multi-core CPUs, energy efficient AI and computer vision (CV) engines, industry-leading GPU.

At the Qualcomm CES 2020 press conference, President Cristiano Amon introduced Snapdragon Ride. (Photo: Qualcomm)

At the Qualcomm CES 2020 press conference, President Cristiano Amon introduced Snapdragon Ride. (Photo: Qualcomm)

The platform with combination of SoCs and accelerator can be used as needed to address every market segment offering industry-leading thermal efficiency, from 30 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) for L1/L2 applications to over 700 TOPS at 130W for L4/L5 driving.

The platform can therefore result in designs that can be passively or air-cooled, thereby reducing cost, and increasing reliability, avoiding the need for expensive liquid cooled systems and allowing for simpler vehicle designs, and extending the driving range for electric vehicles. The Snapdragon Ride SoCs and accelerator are designed for functional safety ASIL-D systems.

Snapdragon Ride is expected to be available for pre-development to automakers and tier-1 suppliers in the first half of 2020. Qualcomm Technologies anticipates Snapdragon Ride-enabled vehicles to be in production in 2023.

While the company believes the next wave of innovation may be in the L2+ Convenience ADAS segment, the hardware solutions utilized in Snapdragon Ride from a single system-on-chip (SoC) for an Active Safety ADAS system driven by regulatory mandates to a highly scalable architecture of multiple SoCs and dedicated autonomous driving accelerators allowing for fully autonomous self-driving systems.

Qualcomm Technologies’ family of ADAS SoCs and accelerators are built on the fundamental approach of heterogeneous compute capabilities designed for application requirements.

These ADAS SoCs and accelerators effectively manage a large amount of data from onboard systems, leveraging Qualcomm Technologies’ next generation AI engines; image signal processors for camera sensors; enhanced digital signal processors (DSPs) for sensor signal processing; high-performance CPUs for planning and decision making; cutting-edge GPU technology for high-end visualization and immersive user experience; dedicated safety and security subsystems across the SoC and autonomous driving accelerator.

Through the autonomous driving accelerator, Qualcomm Technologies brings energy efficient compute capabilities to mainstream vehicles, which has so far been largely unavailable to the automotive industry due to exceptionally complex and expensive thermal solutions that are fundamentally unscalable because of their power consumption requirements.


Snapdragon Ride Benefits

  • Proven and integrated safety board support package with safe OS and hypervisors
  • Safety frameworks from automotive industry leaders, including Adaptive AUTOSAR
  • Optimized and comprehensive foundational function libraries for computer vision, sensor signal processing, and standard arithmetic libraries
  • AI tools for improving model efficiencies, as well as optimizing runtime on heterogeneous compute units
  • Comprehensive autonomous driving stack for highway functions, such as perception and planning for highway driving functions
  • Cost-efficient localization solution with Qualcomm Vision Enhanced Precise Positioning (VEPP)
  • Hardware and Software in Loop Test environment
  • Data Management Tools for intelligent data collection and automated annotation

Autonomous Stack

Integrated as a part of Snapdragon Ride is Qualcomm Technologies’ new purpose-built autonomous driving software stack, a modular and scalable solution available to automotive OEM and tier-1 suppliers to accelerate their development and innovations.

The software stack facilitates automakers’ abilities to offer increased safety and comfort to everyday driving by offering optimized software and applications for complex use cases, such as self-navigating human-like highway driving, as well as choice of modular options like perception, localization, sensor fusion and behavior planning.

The software infrastructure for Snapdragon Ride supports customer specific stack components to be co-hosted with the Snapdragon Ride Autonomous Stack components.

“Over the years, we have consistently demonstrated our prowess in large-scale deployment of high-performance and highly intelligent cockpit and connected car solutions that operate in power-constrained environments across virtually every class of vehicle. Today, we are pleased to be introducing our first-generation Snapdragon Ride platform, which is highly scalable, open, fully customizable and highly power optimized autonomous driving solution designed to address a range of requirements from NCAP to L2+ Highway Autopilot to Robo Taxis. Combined with our Snapdragon Ride Autonomous Stack, or an automaker or tier-1’s own algorithms, our platform aims at accelerating the deployment of high-performance autonomous driving to mass market vehicles,” said Nakul Duggal, senior vice president, product management, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. “We’ve spent the last several years researching and developing our new autonomous platform and accompanying driving stack, identifying challenges and gathering insights from data analysis to address the complexities automakers want to solve.”

About the Author:


Tracy Cozzens has served as managing editor of GPS World magazine since 2006, and also is editor of GPS World’s sister website, Geospatial Solutions. She has worked in government, for non-profits, and in corporate communications, editing a variety of publications for audiences ranging from federal government contractors to teachers.

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