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WCX Preview: Qualcomm’s Jeremiah Golston Talks Future of Automotive Industry through the Software Defined Vehicle

Posted: April 9, 2024

It’s no secret that software defined vehicles (SDV) are driving us to the future.

While the term may be making a splash in media now, it’s been around for nearly a decade to describe the connected features used in modern vehicle systems.

Jeremiah Golston, Senior Vice President and Head of Automotive Engineering at Qualcomm, knows this better than most. He leads automotive engineering teams focused on chipset solutions for telematics, connectivity, and infotainment; C-V2X field trials; autonomy systems R&D; and concept car platforms showcasing next-generation technologies. 

Golston will share some of his expertise on SDV during his keynote talk, “Empowering the Software Defined Vehicle with GenAI” at SAE’s WCX, held April 16-18, 2024, in Detroit, Michigan.

To understand the advantages of SDVs, Golston starts with the basics. He outlines three themes that are most often associated with SDVs: upgradable software systems at the core of the vehicle, high-performance centralized computing architecture, and enabling a digital twin in the cloud.

Each of these ideas is at various stages of implementation in industry, and Golston says at the current moment, we’re seeing the most impact from a high-performance centralized computer, which allows for more capabilities in the vehicle at a lower cost to manufacturers and consumers.

“You know, typically new features come in a dedicated ECU [electronic control unit], but with these high-performance central computer processors, you can see a lot of features being integrated on a single device,” Golston said. “Since we joined the cockpit space about 10 years ago, our products have been able to take what used to be just an infotainment screen processor and expand that to integrate the instrument cluster on the same ECU...with a lot more capability for multi-zone features with driver monitoring being integrated even more recently.”

As features and capabilities get added, the question on many automaker’s minds is autonomy. Keeping SAE’s J3016: Levels of Driving Automation in mind, Golston envisions a future where true automation isn’t far off.

“You can already see today that the cars have much richer user experience, and the car has a lot more capabilities,” he said. “I think the feasibility to have an L3 (SAE J3016 Level 3) hands off, eyes off on highways within 20 years—I do expect to see that in a more widespread fashion.”

Golston will dive deeper into these ideas at WCX, talking through the cost benefits of high-performance centralized compute and how adding generative AI can assist in keeping these systems upgradeable.

Want to know more about the vehicles of the future? Register now to attend Golston’s can’t-miss keynote address at WCX.

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