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Qualcomm wants to turn your car into a smartphone

New Qualcomm chip brings the best of mobile into your car.

Qualcomm Technologies has announced Snapdragon Automotive Solutions, a system that will allow car manufacturers to make their vehicles even smarter using a specially designed automotive mobile processor.

‘Snapdragon Automotive Solutions’ and the accompanying Snapdragon 602A processor will allow car manufacturers to add the functionality we expect from a smartphone into their vehicles such as internet access, digital content steaming and ‘real-time enhanced navigation’ ─ all of which can be displayed simultaneously on up to three displays.

The chipset also opens up the possibility of facial recognition. “I’d like to see a system that recognizes my face and allows me, and only me, to change the music in my car,” Qualcomm’s Anthony Eng explained. “We’ve all had “that guy” in the passenger seat who clicks through all your presets and playlists looking for content that’s OK to him—you know who I’m talking about.”

Qualcomm has built the 602A processor to support Google’s Android, the world’s most popular mobile operating system, and BlackBerry’s QNX software used in BlackBerry 10. It also play nice with Gobi 3G and 4G LTE modems so you can be connected to a data connection wherever you go.

Qualcomm said the Snapdragon 602A processor has been, “specifically engineered to meet the standards set by the automotive industry”  including the ability to function in sub-zero temperatures and extreme heat.

Bluetooth and wireless connectivity makes it possible to ‘mirror’ what you see on your smartphone on the car’s built-in infotainment display. There’s also the possibility of gesture control. Physical controls are, after all, so last year.

QNX and Qualcomm used a specially modified Jeep Wrangler on show at CES 2014 to showcase the first in-car infotainment system to use Snapdragon Automotive Solutions.

“We’re excited to work with Qualcomm Technologies on their entry into the automotive infotainment market,” QNX vice president of sales and marketing Derek Kuhn commented.

“With its high degree of integration, the Qualcomm Snapdragon 602A processor can help automotive companies realize significant cost savings, as well as leverage the rich graphics and HMI capabilities of the QNX CAR Platform for Infotainment,” he added.

Over-the-air software updates, 3D gaming, 3D mapping, mechanical checks, voice recognition, high-quality audio processing and cloud-based vehicle data analytics are made possible with the QNX infotainment system.

Google and Qualcomm will go head to head in the in-car technology market. The former announced its own initiative called Open Automotive Alliance, which has so far resulted in an Android-powered head-unit designed by Clarion. Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai and Nvidia have been confirmed as partners.

Scroll down and press play to see the system in action.

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