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Valeo Signs Major Deal with BMW to Supply Advanced Driver Assist Hardware for the Automaker's Forthcoming 'Neue Klasse' EV Platform

Valeo Signs Major Deal with BMW to Supply Advanced Driver Assist Hardware for the Automaker's Forthcoming 'Neue Klasse' EV Platform

Author: Eric Walz   

Leading automotive supplier Valeo has entered into a major collaboration with BMW Group to supply the advanced driver assist system (ADAS) domain controller, including vehicle sensors and software, for BMW's upcoming new electric vehicle platform dubbed "Neue Klasse" (New Class). 

BMW plans to launch the new EV platform in 2025.

Valeo's ADAS domain controller will be capable of managing all data flows from all sensors in BMW Group electric vehicles built on the Neue Klasse platform. Valeo's ADAS domain controller collects data from vehicle sensors to create a highly accurate 360-degree model of the vehicle's environment. 

Vehicles with domain controllers have a more centralized architecture with a fewer number of individual electronic control units (ECU). A traditional vehicle architecture can use 50 to 100 individual ECUs. The benefits are lower complexity that's more cost-efficient for automakers, as well as greater flexibility, scalability and the ability to be updated with over-the-air software.

Advanced ADAS domain controllers in an autonomous vehicle are necessary to process the terabytes of data generated by a vehicle's sensor suite for executing driving commands. All of the BMW vehicle driving assistance functions will be processed by the Valeo ADAS domain controller, which will be powered by Qualcomm's Snapdragon system-on-chip (SoC). 

The ADAS domain controller will host Valeo's software platform for low-speed maneuvering, automated parking, as well as software from BMW and Qualcomm to support autonomous driving.

"This collaboration between BMW Group and Valeo builds on the successful products we have been developing together over the last decades," said Dr. Nicolai Martin, Senior Vice President Driving Experience BMW Group. "Today, the new BMW 7 Series sets the standard for effortless and state-of-the-art driver assistance systems. We look forward to shaping the future together with Valeo through this close collaboration in our next generation for maneuvering and parking solutions." 

Future BMW vehicles will also utilize Qualcomm's SoCs to support a wide variety of ADAS and autonomous driving functions, including front, rear and surround view camera computer vision with a dedicated computer vision SoC, as well as Valeo's high-performance ADAS central compute controller.

"We are excited and proud to embark on this journey with our long-standing partners at BMW," said Marc Vrecko, President of Valeo's Comfort & Driving Assistance Systems Business Group. "BMW "Neue Klasse" will also feature the next generation of Valeo's ultrasonic sensors, the full set of surround view cameras, as well as a new multifunctional interior camera that will contribute to improved safety and create a new level of user experience." 

Qualcomm announced its Snapdragon Ride platform at CES in Jan 2020. Since its unveiling, it has steadily gained momentum with global automakers and Tier 1 suppliers worldwide. Qualcomm's push into the automotive space comes as more production vehicles are coming equipped with connectivity features and automated driving capabilities.

In Nov 2021, Qualcomm announced that it was supplying BMW with its next-gen autonomous driving stack based on its Snapdragon Ride vision SoC. The chip supports computer vision perception and ADAS central compute controllers managed by Qualcomm's Car-2-Cloud services platform.

The system being developed by Valeo, BMW Group and Qualcomm is able to obtain real-time mapping and understanding of the car's surroundings. New features and upgrades can be added via over-the-air software updates throughout the car's lifecycle.

As the auto industry moves towards electrification and autonomous driving, vehicle components supplied by technology partners such as Valeo, Qualcomm and Nvidia are helping automakers like BMW build more advanced and connected vehicles. 

The reliance on these suppliers will only increase as modern vehicles come packed with computers, electronics, cameras and sensors to improve safety. 

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally hailing from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry here in Silicon Valley. He has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology.
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