Qualcomm has just announced that it has become an Official Founding Technology Partner of the FIA Formula E Championship, which is the body regulating the equivalent for Formula 1, but for electric vehicles (EV). As such Qualcomm is going to evaluate and provide recommendations to the FIA Formula E Championship about how wireless connectivity could improve the spectator experience of the race.
Since the race will happen in a city (vs. a track), cars don’t really drive by on a regular basis. Instead, there may be a need to transmit the race wirelessly. At this point, this is still at the brainstorming stage, but building some kind of consumer wireless infrastructure that would remain after the race would be ideal.
A more practical application of Qualcomm’s technology is wireless charging: Using HALO, a proprietary wireless charging technology, Qualcomm intends to build the equivalent of a stop-pit to wirelessly charge electric cars (it’s not yet clear if there will be a single point of charge for each car). HALO uses induction technology, but the company claims several advantages that would make a difference:
1/ the car doesn’t need to be perfectly aligned for the charging to happen 2/ the distance between the vehicle and the charging pad can be relatively important. 3/ It is designed to let car makers make a number of adjustment to fit their needs.
The idea of Formula E is to push the technological envelope for EVs and Qualcomm believes that EVs are the future, so it is important for them to participate both for marketing reasons and technological reasons.