Qualcomm acquires Autotalks to boost road safety division

9 May 2023

Image: © JHVEPhoto/Stock.adobe.com

The multinational saw recent growth in its autotech revenue and plans to merge Autotalks’ vehicle-to-everything technology into its Snapdragon Digital Chassis portfolio.

Qualcomm is acquiring Israeli vehicle chipmaker Autotalks in a bid to expand its autotech business.

The cost of the deal has not been disclosed, but sources told TechCrunch that Qualcomm is paying between $350m and $400m for the start-up.

Autotalks creates chips to improve road safety by enabling vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication, which lets vehicles communicate with each other and ‘see’ their environment.

The technology is designed to give enhanced situational awareness for both manned and self-driving vehicles. Autotalks claims its sensors can see around corners and through obstacles with a radius of one mile.

Autotalks CEO Hagai Zyss said that the combination of the two companies’ knowledge and expertise will create “strong V2X products” and accelerate the widespread adoption of this technology.

“It has been our mission to revolutionize safety for the transportation and automotive industry through our V2X solutions,” Zyss said. “We look forward to serving the auto industry together with Qualcomm and to bring the best technologies to market.”

Through the acquisition, Qualcomm plans to bring Autotalks’ technology into Snapdragon Digital Chassis, Qualcomm’s portfolio of cloud-connected automotive platforms.

Nakul Duggal, senior VP and automotive general manager of Qualcomm Technologies, said “standalone V2X safety architecture” will be needed to enhance road-user safety as the automotive market matures.

“We share Autotalks’ decades-long experience and commitment to build V2X technologies and products with a focus on solving real-world road-user safety challenges,” Duggal said.

“We look forward to working together to deliver global V2X solutions that will help accelerate time-to-market and enable mass market adoption of this very important safety technology.”

Qualcomm’s revenue fell by 17pc in its second fiscal quarter – which ended on 26 March this year – while its net income plunged by 42pc. The company’s handset and IoT divisions both saw significant drops to their revenue streams. But its automotive division saw a boost in revenue and made $447m in this quarter, a 20pc year-on-year increase.

In January, Qualcomm partnered with satellite company Iridium to bring satellite messaging to Android smartphones this year. The new service, Snapdragon Satellite, will initially focus on emergency messaging, with plans to launch in select regions later this year.

10 things you need to know direct to your inbox every weekday. Sign up for the Daily Brief, Silicon Republic’s digest of essential sci-tech news.

Leigh Mc Gowran is a journalist with Silicon Republic