Mercedes-Benz and Smart Car parent company Daimler has announced a partnership with California-based Qualcomm Technologies to develop the high-tech features that are intended to become staples of tomorrow’s connected car.
The collaboration will initially focus on fine-tuning existing technology such as in-car 3G/4G connectivity and wireless charging for mobile devices like MP3 players and smartphones.
Later on, Daimler and Qualcomm will work together to integrate the latter’s wireless vehicle charging technology into Mercedes’ passenger cars, SUVs, and even commercial vans. Wireless charging will allow owners of electric vehicles and plug-in hybrids to top up their battery pack without ever having to physically plug their car into a wall box or a charging station.
A time frame for when we can expect to see the technology that Qualcomm and Daimler are busily developing in a production-bound Mercedes or smart car was not given. However, 3G/4G connectivity and wireless charging for mobile devices are likely right around the corner, especially considering that General Motors currently offers several vehicles – including the Cadillac ATS and the CTS — which are aimed at the C- and E-Class, respectively — with these features.
Wireless charging for EVs and plug-in hybrids is believed to be at least two or three years away from mass production. And even if Mercedes wins the race to bring wireless vehicle charging to the market, federal and local governments around the world will need to make significant investments in their infrastructure in order to boost the technology’s adoption rate.
The alliance between Mercedes and Qualcomm is less than a week old but the two companies already have big plans for the future. Notably, Qualcomm is working on a system that integrates wireless vehicle chargers into the road in order to charge cars on the go. When fine-tuned, the technology promises to eliminate the range anxiety associated with EVs once and for all.