Qualcomm To Power FIA’s Formula E Electric Racing

Qualcomm’s wireless charging technology will power Formula E, a new motorspot from the FIA which features cars exclusively powered by electric energy.

As formula E’s founding technology partner, Qualcomm will also advise the championship on how to implement new and sustainable technology into the series, which hopes to provide a platform for research and development, and to promote awarenesss of electric vehicles.

Much like Formula One is used as a testing ground for many road vehicle technologies, Formula E will hope to accelerate development of electric vehicles. Ten teams, each with two drivers, will race open-wheel cars designed to the technical specifications of the FIA that also showcase each team’s electrical energy innovations.

Qualcomm Formula E deal

The first benefit of the deal will see Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) adapted to the 2014-2015 safety cars. The technology uses resonant magnetic induction to transfer several kilowatts of energy between a ground-based pad and a charging pad on the vehicle. Drivers simply park on the base pad and charging starts automatically.

Qualcomm has previously tested its Halo technology in London, promising it can use existing street furniture and transmit energy even in snowy conditions. However some safety concerns were noted at the launch last year and Qualcomm will hope by using it in a high profile motorsport, such worries will be eased.

“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. “We hope this arrangement will leverage mobile technology to enhance the fan experience and impact the global movement toward more sustainable living.”

The 2014 Formula E Championship will take place in ten cities, including London, Berlin, Rome, Beijing and Los Angeles, and Qualcomm will also help to improve the spectator experience at each of the street circuits.

“The FIA Formula E Championship is going to become a showcase for electric vehicle technology,” said Alejandro Agag, chief executive officer of Championship Promoters Formula E Holdings. “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.”

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Steve McCaskill

Steve McCaskill is editor of TechWeekEurope and ChannelBiz. He joined as a reporter in 2011 and covers all areas of IT, with a particular interest in telecommunications, mobile and networking, along with sports technology.

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