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(Pocket-lint) - When it comes to cars in 2022, the first thing you probably think of is, fundamentally, a metal box with four wheels attached. With each passing year, though, more and more technology heads into our cars, from autonomous driving to the way you play your music in them.

There's an increasingly huge amount of processing power being leveraged in modern cars, which has seen companies such as Qualcomm massively step up their work in the automotive centre. We caught up with Don McGuire, SVP and chief marketing officer at Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. to find out more about what the processing giant is working on.

The Snapdragon Digital Chassis

A fixture over the last couple of years of development for Qualcomm has been the Snapdragon Digital Chassis, which is what it calls the carefully-calibrated web of cloud processing and connectivity that a modern car powered by its Snapdragon platform can leverage.

While a few years ago this might have just meant the ability to connect to the web, Qualcomm has now added connectivity-as-a-service, integrated telematics, and upgraded the included Wi-Fi to 6E in its latest version of the chassis.

This means that a modern car using Snapdragon can feel just as impressively powered-up and connected as any phone or tablet could, and is likely to actually have better Wi-Fi performance than a lot of people's homes.

McGuire calls the Snapdragon Digital Chassis a shift that "really enables the digital transformation of the automobile", and if you compare sitting in a modern car to what we were enduring even 20 years ago, it's hard to argue with that.

Qualcomm's tech can power not just infotainment and in-car displays, but also let manufacturers use Snapdragon's connectivity to hook its cars up to the cloud in innovative ways.

Impressive hardware

This connectivity makes for some impressive steps forward, as anyone who's tried out a car with digital wing mirrors will be able to attest, but it also enhances the experience of driving in ways that are slightly less obvious.

For one, cars can leverage huge datasets and cloud connections to help you exert finer control while you actually drive, letting their traction controls learn from experience and ensuring that a car rolls out of the factory but is still able to improve through software updates.

It's huge for safety as well, with warnings when you drive erratically becoming more and more expected, and automatic braking systems helping to kick in and avoid accidents and collisions all over the world with more regularity than ever.

Qualcomm's also, of course, working on self-driving features that require the ability to process absolutely mammoth amounts of data as the car moves around, fed to it by sensors and cameras around its real-world chassis. All of these make the absolute most of the Snapdragon ecosystem.

It has partnerships with huge names in the car market, from General Motors to Renault, BMW and Ferrari - in addition to recently completing its acquisition of Arriver - so keep an eye out for more about the Snapdragon Digital Chassis in the time to come.