Qualcomm to provide wireless vehicle charging for FIA Formula E Championship

Qualcomm is to provide wireless charging and augmented reality to the FIA Formula E Championship with the teams and spectators set to benefit from various revolutionary pieces of technology.

The five-year sponsorship deal signed by the FIA and Qualcomm will allow the latter’s Halo wireless vehicle charging technology to be utilised by the cars, which are all powered by electricity.

“Our collaboration with the FIA Formula E Championship is not just a great opportunity to showcase Qualcomm technologies, such as our Halo WEVC system, but to evaluate and improve wireless connectivity and EV technology across the globe, especially in the host cities,” said Anand Chandrasekher, senior vice president and chief marketing officer of Qualcomm.

The championship, which commences in September 2014, will see 20 drivers split into 10 different teams racing around many of the world’s largest cities including London, Beijing, and Los Angeles.

Halo, developed in Qualcomm’s London laboratory, consists of a copper pad in the ground that generates an electromagnetic field. A coil inside the car that converts the energy into electricity to power the vehicle then picks this up. This, in addition to the other technology being provided, is something that the series itself is encouraged by.

“As the global leader in mobile technology, Qualcomm’s involvement will not only help us develop new advances in EV tech, but also to provide our fans and the world’s EV community with the best race viewing experience possible. New technologies in connectivity, wireless and mobile fit perfectly with a Championship open to new technology, not only for the cars but for everything around the venue,” said Alejandro Agag, CEO of Formula E Holdings.

In the first year of the championship Halo will only be used to power up the safety car with the competing vehicles being able to use it in the second or third year of the competition.

For spectators Qualcomm is providing an augmented reality app that allows anyone at the race to continue watching the car in question if it disappears from view. Teams will also be able to benefit from a telemetrics system being developed by Qualcomm that will give real-time information on the cars that will help teams to improve performance.

Qualcomm bought HaloIPT, a company that specialised in wireless charging technology, back in 2011 and it’s been developing the technology further even since.