Qualcomm’s new Snapdragon Ride aims to address the complexity of autonomous driving and ADAS by combining a high-performance hardware, artificial intelligence (AI) technologies and an autonomous driving software stack to deliver a comprehensive systems solution. It offers automakers a scalable solution designed to support three industry segments of autonomous systems, ranging from L1/L2 Active Safety ADAS for vehicles that include automatic emergency braking, traffic sign recognition and lane keeping assist functions to L2+ Convenience ADAS for vehicles featuring Automated Highway Driving, Self-Parking and Urban Driving in Stop-and-Go traffic and even to L4/L5 Fully Autonomous Driving for autonomous urban driving, robo-taxis.
The platform is based on the company’s Snapdragon family of automotive SoCs. The device contains several modular heterogenous high-performance multi-core CPUs, energy efficient AI and computer vision (CV) engines as well as a graphics processing unit (GPU). The company gives some technical data such as a performance of 30 Tera Operations Per Second (TOPS) for L1/L2 applications to over 700 TOPS; and all this at a power consumption of 130W for L4/L5 driving. While this does not seem very energy efficient at the first look, it does not require active cooling and enables the design of a self-contained, compact ADAS and auto-driving control computer. The Snapdragon Ride SoCs and accelerator are designed for functional safety ASIL-D systems.
While the company follows the big automotive OEMs in its assessment that the next wave of innovation will likely 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 scalable architecture of multiple SoCs and dedicated autonomous driving accelerators allowing for fully autonomous self-driving systems.