LAS VEGAS — Qualcomm, a high-tech auto supplier of wireless modems for vehicle connectivity, infotainment and telematics, announced at CES 2020 it is a major supplier to the recently unveiled ’20 Land Rover Defender. That implies future Jaguar-Land Rover models are also in the pipeline.
“Our history with automotive is almost 20 years old,” Nakul Duggal, San Diego-based Qualcomm’s senior vice president-automotive, says in a phone interview ahead of the Consumer Electronics Show here.
“We were with OnStar since 2002. We have been supplying modems for wireless connectivity for a very long time. As part of that development, we have expanded into many different areas,” he says.
Also at CES 2020, Qualcomm announced OnStar parent General Motors and Qualcomm have renewed their longstanding partnership and expanded it to include solutions for digital cockpit and ADAS systems.
More To Come
For the ’20 Land Rover Defender, Qualcomm says its Snapdragon computing platform is behind the digital instrument cluster, infotainment, and rear-seat passenger displays.
Answering a question, Duggal confirms the logic of assuming Jaguar Land Rover would add the platform on other models, for both brands. But he won’t comment directly on future products.
Qualcomm also provides the redesigned Defender with the capability to receive over-the-air software updates and cloud connectivity with user benefits including access to expanded amounts of memory and data.
Old Dogs, New Tricks
Duggal says over-the-air updates are especially attractive to automakers because they can more conveniently recondition lease returns with new, up-to-date features.
In turn, that makes off-lease units more valuable to subsequent users. Most luxury brands in the U.S. market, including Jaguar-Land Rover, are heavily dependent on leasing.
“Over-the-air capability gives automakers the ability to manage the capability of the vehicle over its life,” Duggal says, adding that when a vehicle goes off-lease, “you can update it with new software.”