Qualcomm is poised to dominate EVs before Apple has a chance.

Perhaps crucially, Qualcomm also claims that its digital chassis will allow automakers to “capture the in-vehicle experience… [and] Extend their brand and bring consumer interaction to the vehicle. This will be especially welcomed by manufacturers after the announcement of Apple’s next-gen multi-screen version of CarPlay in June. Indeed, when CarPlay 2 was announced, WIRED reached out to several major automakers to comment on Cupertino’s system, and the companies seemed unaware of the news, and its potential impact on their own dominance of Car UI, was coming.

The digital chassis system is designed to work in all regions and all types of vehicles, and Qualcomm says it hopes the chassis will “inspire new business models for automobiles” beyond just selling and maintaining cars.

If you thought paying for heated seats was bad…

In addition to in-car games, these new business models include charging drivers to unlock features already installed in their cars. BMW has sparked controversy by requiring a subscription to operate heated seats installed in cars. Mercedes asks drivers to pay $1,200 to unlock more performance, hidden behind a paywall in the EV code. The latest Polestar 2 model can be made even more powerful by purchasing the Performance Package that comes with software upgrades, no keys required.

Also, in addition to software and communications, technology companies can help automakers, especially startups, with mass production. Such cooperation can be found in Fisker and Foxconn. The former is a California EV startup headed by former Aston Martin designer Henrik Fisker, while the latter is a Taiwanese company known for assembling the iPhone. The two plan to develop the roughly $30,000 EV to go into production at a facility in Ohio by 2024.

Fisker in 2010 By 2021, Foxconn said it would help with product development, data and manufacturing, a partnership that would allow the company to offer products “at prices that truly open up electric mobility to the mass market.”

If Foxconn doesn’t want to put all its automotive eggs in one basket, it’s in partnership with Chinese automotive giant Geely, parent of Volvo, Polestar and Lotus, among others. Similarly, Pegatron, another Taiwanese company responsible for assembling the iPhone, is now Tesla’s manufacturing partner.

Finding a technology partner may soon become more important for car brands to fully embrace advanced infotainment, driver assistance and connectivity systems. According to Lei Zhou, a partner at consulting firm Deloitte Tohmatsu, it is “very likely” that self-driving cars are at risk of being left behind.

Zhou added, “If traditional OEMs develop connected technologies with existing capabilities, EVs with an IT background or OEMs with powerful technology partners may be left behind.” including the fields of technology and business.

And what is Apple doing?

The opposite is true, with tech companies interested in building their first cars needing help from automakers with manufacturing experience.

Tyson Jomini, vice president of automotive consulting at JD Power, told Wired: “Tesla, Rivian, Dyson, Lucid and others have done a great job of designing a car. But when you get down to brass tacks to make a car, it’s tough. That’s when many beginners run into trouble. [because] Mass production cars are hard on the scale. So partnership makes sense.

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