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.
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.