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Qualcomm, Renault Back Joint R&D To Steer Car Industry

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By Chris Donkin

The CEOs of Qualcomm and automotive giant Renault Group highlighted the benefits of cross-industry collaboration on connected vehicle developments, as the latter predicted software would help used vehicles retain value.

In a panel session, Qualcomm president and CEO Cristiano Amon and Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo made the case for joint development, as car companies continue to add more computing elements to vehicles.

Amon noted the automotive industry was at the point of “an incredible opportunity” with connected technology set to create new business models around services. He added Qualcomm had seen a change in the nature of its relationships with the automotive industry.

“Car companies want to have direct relationships with the technology companies,” he said. “That didn’t exist before, you had many different companies in the chain. Through that direct relationship it enables us to understand what the needs of the car companies are and develop in a way that meets the demand”.

De Meo noted Renault “can’t do everything alone”.

“We need the expertise of people, but it also cannot be a classical [relationship] between customers and suppliers. Technology is evolving and integration of technology into a car is not an easy thing, so you need a deeper collaboration.”

Value

Among the advantages of various connected vehicle technologies, Amon highlighted the immediate opportunity to bring assisted driving technology across vehicle price points, whereas de Meo pointed to a change in the value of vehicles themselves.

“Today software represents 10 per cent of the value of the car. In 2030 it will be 40 per cent,” de Meo added.

“Cars will become intelligent, they will learn from the driver,” the Renault chief noted. “Probably in three years your car will be better than [on] the first day because it knows you.”

“Having a car that is better at the end of its lifecycle than the beginning will probably solve one of the big bugs that our business has: after three years a car you pay €30,000 for is worth €15,000,” he added. “You clearly see that if you have a car that gets better the impact on residual value will be huge and it will change our business.”

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