Qualcomm has agreed to acquire an Israeli fabless chipmaker called Autotalks, and according to TechCrunch, the deal will cost the company around $350 to $400 million. Autotalks creates chips and vehicle-to-everything (V2X) communication technologies dedicated towards boosting road safety for both ordinary and driverless vehicles. In its announcement, Qualcomm said that Autotalks' "production-ready, dual mode, standalone safety solutions" will be incorporated into the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, its set of cloud-connected assisted and autonomous driving technologies.
Nakul Duggal, senior VP of automotive for Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said in a statement: "We have been investing in V2X research, development and deployment since 2017 and believe that as the automotive market matures, a standalone V2X safety architecture will be needed for enhanced road user safety, as well as smart transportation system... 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. 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."
For makers of driverless and driver-assisted vehicles and systems, ensuring people that their technologies are safe is of utmost importance if they want to win them over. They may have to offer safety features that can assuage people's fears in order to get ahead of their rivals, since most people remain apprehensive about self-driving cars.
Qualcomm expects the automotive industry to be one of its biggest sources of growth and revenue over the coming years. At CES last year, it unveiled the Snapdragon Ride Vision platform, which is an "open, scalable and modular" tech automakers can use to build cars. And in late 2022, it said its automotive business pipeline, or its revenue-generating opportunities, had jumped to $30 billion from the $10 billion it announced during its previous earnings report. The company also said back then that it estimates its automotive business revenue to hit $4 billion by fiscal year 2026. It credited the Snapdragon Digital Chassis for the expansion of its future business opportunities, and Autotalks' acquisition could grow its customer base and client offerings even further.