German automaker Daimler and processor manufacturer Qualcomm are teaming up to develop new technologies that will enable the wireless charging of electric vehicles and the in-car wireless charging of mobile devices.
Daimler, parent company of luxury brand Mercedes Benz, announced in a statement on Saturday that the partnership is meant to cement its reputation as an innovator of car technologies, as rival European auto manufacturers, such as Audi and BMW, are pushing for the same status.
"It's important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers," said Dr. Thomas Weber, head of group research and Mercedes Benz car development. "With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech firm like Qualcomm."
Chief among the technologies that the new partnership aims to explore is one that allows plug-in electric vehicles to charge even without being plugged in. This would be made possible by using Qualcomm's Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology, which can be built into individual parking slots to allow vehicles to charge wirelessly.
Along with Halo, Qualcomm will also provide its WiPower wireless charging technology to charge mobile devices, such as smartphones, tablets and smartwatches inside Daimler's vehicles. Unlike existing wireless charging standards, which require devices be placed on the charging pad, WiPower only needs to have the device placed within the charge area to work.
Daimler also plans to include built-in 3G/4G connection into its cars, but the company did not specify how it plans to do that.
This is not the first time that Daimler has teamed up with Qualcomm to develop smart vehicles using the chipmaker's technologies. Both companies have experienced working with each other in providing the Mercedes AMG Petronas Formula One team with sensor-based devices running on Qualcomm's line of Snapdragon chipsets for the team's race cars.
"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," said Qualcomm president Derek Aberle.
Daimler, along with Audi and BMW, are in a bid to rev up their expertise in technology, and it is clear that the rivals are willing to work together to keep the high-tech innovations to themselves as they prepare to propose a buyout for Nokia's mapping service, a technology that is crucial to self-driving cars.
Photo: Robert Basic | Flickr