Formula E to Make Use of Qualcomm’s Wireless Charging & AR Technologies

Posted on September 11, 2013 3:14 PM by Rob Williams

The fact that the upcoming Formula E league will make use of 100% electric vehicles is interesting enough in itself, but with the help of Qualcomm and its portfolio of technologies, things are going to become even more intriguing. With a five-year agreement with FIA, Formula E’s governing body, Qualcomm will supply both wireless charging for the vehicles along with augmented-reality for the teams, and their fans.

The wireless charging technology isn’t new, but this will help make it visible to a much larger audience. It works by placing a copper pad beneath the ground that creates an electromagnetic field that gets picked up by a coil inside the car. The idea is that teams could simply park their cars overnight and be good to go the next time they need them.

Formula E Official Car

There’s also the option of deploying these chargers along the actual tracks, allowing drivers to take a moment to top up on their battery – though that idea seems a little ridiculous during a race.

On the AR side of things, Qualcomm is going to help design the telemetrics system that will be used by the race, gathering stats that will be seen by teams. On the fans side, imagine being able to continue watching the race on a mobile device or otherwise when cars are not in view – that’d help to deliver the ultimate experience, pairing the benefits of being able to watch the race on TV, and in person.

I’m still not exuding absolute confidence that Formula E is going to be able to hook me like other Formula leagues, and while it will feature one of the uglier racing cars I’ve ever seen (shown above), at least it’s a league that’s bleeding with cool technology.

  • JD Kane

    Heh, as a rabid auto racing fan (open-wheeled cars, in particular), it’s honestly hard to be excited by electric racing cars. The simple reason is there’s no glorious soundtrack to the racing! I’ve yet to be electrified by the song of an electric engine.

    And you’re right: These cars are sinfully ugly.

    On the other hand, it’s interesting that electrically-powered engines are now capable of open-wheeled racing. That’s fairly impressive. And the tech in this series looks outstanding.

    • Rob Williams

      The lack of genuine auto sound is the major sticking-point for me as well. I just hope I might be able to overlook at.

      • Jamie Fletcher

        I don’t know, maybe things will be quiet enough to hear the drivers swearing at each other as they overtake.

        • Rob Williams

          Well, they will have synthetic sounds. It’d be a rather dangerous situation to have fast cars making no noise at all ;-) Well, you hear the wind, but even so… that’s not too stark.

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