Qualcomm will pay $4.5 billion to purchase Veoneer, a Swedish Tier 1 automotive supplier with a specialty in advanced driver assistance software. That makes Veoneer one of the largest acquisitions in the autonomous vehicle space since Mobileye. Interestingly, both of those companies focus on ADAS, although Mobileye seems to be stepping into full autonomous driving, as well.
There was a little bit of a bidding war in which Qualcomm beat out Magna on the purchase price. The deal got relatively little attention in the press, however, I think because Silicon Valley still has not really figured out how to break into the automotive supply chain. Qualcomm, Mobileye, and Magna are all located outside of Silicon Valley.
But there’s big money in ADAS, as evidenced by first Mobileye and now Veoneer, to say nothing of Tesla.
Qualcomm’s head of automotive, Nakul Duggal, appeared recently on The Autonocast, in a short episode that’s worth a lesson. Among other things, Qualcomm does not aspire to be a Tier 1 automotive supplier.