The new French mid-size sedan adopts Qualcomm's latest platform dedicated to the automotive world: the smartphone user experience enters the car
The world of cars and the world of tech are now one and the same thing: the modern infotainment systems we find on more and more latest-generation cars never lack Internet connection, large screens to display the navigator and apps, compatibility with Google Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. But if the car's dashboard now looks like a smartphone, or a tablet, it's because more and more car manufacturers are relying on solutions produced by the big names in the mobile sector.
The latest example is the Peugeot 308, announced at the end of the summer and coming to dealerships from January 2022. The new French sedan, in fact, for infotainment adopts a solution produced by Qualcomm, the American giant of chips for smartphones. It is the Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit platform, which is used to manage the now famous Peugeot i-Cockpit. The i-Cockpit has been a 100% digital dashboard since its first version and has been a bold, but winning choice for Peugeot. Convincing potential customers to say goodbye to the old analog dashboard, which offers little information but is easy to read, was in fact not something to be taken for granted. The next generation of i-Cockpit, i.e. the third generation, will take a further leap forward thanks to Qualcomm technology.
Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit: what it can do
Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit is a package of technologies that enables a high-level user experience in cars adopting this platform.
This is a low-power hardware platform, but with high-power CPU and GPU that can be leveraged to display three-dimensional objects in the screen in front of the steering wheel. The available power is sufficient to manage a very high resolution infotainment screen (theoretically up to 4K).
There is also the ability to process artificial intelligence algorithms, the possibility to use voice commands ("Ok Peugeot", in the case of the 308) and navigation with real-time detection of the car's position.
Qualcomm Snapdragon Automotive Cockpit is clearly a solution on which each car manufacturer can develop its own proposal for the driver. On the Peugeot 308, for example, in addition to the screen behind the steering wheel, there is a 10-inch central screen through which the entire infotainment system is controlled and also allows various customizations.
For example, you can store 5 different functions to be quickly recalled, you can store an address and recall it by touching a single button, thus avoiding having to enter the navigation menu.
The car looks like a smartphone
The Peugeot 308 is just the latest example of a new product in the automotive world that draws heavily from the world of consumer electronics to offer something extra to the driver. It's not the only one, because more are on the way.
The new electric Renault Mégane E-Tech, for example, is the first car designed for the mass market to integrate the Android Automotive operating system (which is not just Android Auto). In that case, too, the automaker relied on a tech giant: LG.
The car is becoming more and more like a smartphone, then, but we're just getting started.