Volkswagen taps Qualcomm as “development accelerator“
According to media reports, Volkswagen plans to use Qualcomm chips in the advanced driver assistance systems of all its brands. The order is to run until 2031 and is said to be worth more than one billion euros. The first vehicles equipped with these Qualcomm SoCs developed specifically for Volkswagen are to be produced in 2026. By the time this article went online, neither Volkswagen nor Qualcomm did comment on the subject.
VW CEO Herbert Diess travelled to Qualcomm headquarters in San Diego, Calif. last week to sign the contract, several reports say.
Initially, the computer systems equipped with the Qualcomm SoC will use software that Volkswagen is currently developing together with Bosch. In a second phase, software capable of automated driving up to level 4 will also be used.
Volkswagen’s announcement comes as a surprise to market observers, as the company was previously known for its cooperation with the Intel subsidiary Mobileye. The latter was to provide its own SoCs for the high-performance computers for Level 4 and Level 5. It is currently unclear whether the contract with Qualcomm means the end for Volkswagen’s cooperation with Mobileye. According to reports, the decisive reason for the Qualcomm decision was to speed up development, so VW plans to be able to use the software developed jointly with Bosch more quickly. Industry insiders had previously rumoured that Volkswagen’s software subsidiary Cariad was having problems developing corresponding functions.
For Qualcomm, the VW deal is a great success, as it means deliveries in large quantities. After Stellantis, VW is the second large volume and multi-brand OEM to sign a supply contract with Qualcomm. The cooperation with BMW released earlier, on the other hand, is likely to strengthen Qualcomm’s image, but will not have as big an impact in terms of unit sales.