Daimler and Qualcomm collaborate on wireless charging of connected electric cars


German automaker Daimler AG and California-based leading mobile chipmaker Qualcomm Technologies, a subsidiary of Qualcomm, have recently teamed up to develop wireless charging of electric cars as well as in-car wireless charging of smartphones, tablets, MP3 players and smart watches inside Daimler’s cars.  In a joint press release the two companies announced that during the first phase of the collaboration, Daimler and Qualcomm ‘will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity, wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use and implementation of the Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology.’

Reuters reported that this collaboration, which will give Daimler a chance to get ahead of German rivals BMW and Audi in its quest to become the top high-tech automaker, comes in time of increased pressure towards carmakers to downsize their engines due to tightening emission rules.

Qualcomm’s Halo WEVC technology will enable Daimler customers to charge their electric cars as well as their mobile devices without having to plug them in. “It’s important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers,” said Thomas Weber, the Management Board Member of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development. “With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech firm like Qualcomm,” Weber added.

Furthermore, Qualcomm WiPower, a new technology Qualcomm acquired in 2010, will enable vehicles to wirelessly charge without having to be located near a charging pad. “Mercedes-Benz customers have come to expect vehicles equipped with numerous intelligent systems and sensors that enhance safety, convenience and comfort. Together, the companies intend to combine automotive expertise to advance the connected car industry by delivering intelligently connected vehicles of the future that drive emission-free,” according to Qualcomm press release.

This is not the first time the two well known companies collaborate with each other.  Qualcomm and Daimler have worked in the past to provide Formula One team of Mercedes AMG Petronas race cars with sensor-based devices. “Our work with Daimler AG is a natural extension of the sponsorship we have with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One team as our work in motorsports cultivates the innovation and advancements seen in the auto space. The automobile has become a mobile platform and an extension of always-on connectivity, and as such, we’re utilizing our expertise as the leader in mobile technology to deliver in-car experiences comparable to the ease and convenience of smartphones,” president of Qualcomm Incorporated Derek Aberle said.

In the near future, both companies plan to integrate the new in-car wireless charging technology into Mercedes’ passenger cars, SUVs, and commercial vans. Currently Qualcomm is working on implementing a new technology that will allow wireless car chargers to integrate into the road so that vehicles will charge on the go. 

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