Qualcomm's concept car is the tech world's latest go at cars

06th January 2023
James Brodie

The automotive world is under invasion – more and more technology companies are getting involved in all things four wheels. Just look at Sony, which has teamed up with Honda to create a car of its own, the Afeela. Or electronics manufacturing giant Foxconn, which seemingly has ambitions beyond making your iPhone or PlayStation: it also wants to get products it’s had a say in onto your driveway. 


And with this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas now in full swing – indeed, an expo perfectly curated for the biggest brains in cars and tech to showcase their collaborations – American semiconductor giant Qualcomm is the latest technology multinational to have a go at something capable of transporting humans from A to B. 

The new Qualcomm concept car, which does not have a name, is a tall-riding fastback with suicide style doors opening up a typically plush and futuristic concept car cabin, laden with a full-width 55-inch dashboard display. Interesting design touches include the wrap-around LED lighting bar, which runs a ring around the car’s beltline, and the small ducktail-like spoiler found at the rear.


However, this is not a design study, nor is it representative of a car Qualcomm actually wants to produce. Instead, it’s just a canvas upon which the tech firm is showcasing what it calls the ‘Snapdragon Digital Chassis.’

As you might expect, the chassis in question is not the traditional framework underneath the car, but the multitude of hardware and software innovations powering the vehicle’s various features. Qualcomm calls it a glimpse into the future, whereby ‘software defined vehicles’ will be at the forefront of the automotive landscape. 


This future will be highly personalised, reckons Qualcomm, using facial recognition and AI to detect each individual in the car and tailor their exact environment for them. Everything from audio, entertainment, climate control, seating position and more will be determined down to individual passengers, rather than the cabin as a whole. 

Cars using Snapdragon Digital Chassis will be heavily application based, with over-the-air updates key to keeping myriad online services such as music and content streaming platforms, maps, games and more constantly up to date. Mapping and keeping 3D maps up to date, in particular, is something Qualcomm believes is a necessity to unlocking autonomous driving. 


And Qualcomm reckons we’ll all be talking to our cars a lot more too, calling traditional switchgear laden dashboards “inadequate.” We’ll let you be the judge of that, but provided AI voice assistants become more intuitive and conversational in the future, maybe we will be asking our cars to turn up the music in the future, rather than fiddling around, doing it ourselves. Many of us already are...

  • Tech

  • CES

  • Qualcomm

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