Drivers the world over are unlikely to plug in their phones to charge them, but are happy to place them on a charging surface to charge and integrate the phone into the driving experience. Ranking just behind in-home charging, in-cab charging is the location consumers most value wireless charging. With the introduction of 15W fast-charging capability and advanced phone-integration features now being offered by the auto industry, Qi wireless charging is quickly becoming the latest “must-have” feature in new cars.
It’s ironic that the auto industry has adopted wireless charging so aggressively. After all, automotive engineers are late adopters of new technology. Their considered approach is for good reason as new technology must be thoroughly studied for value, safety and reliability before it is designed into a “consumer device” that has a 10-to 15-year lifetime. Auto makers want to know that a feature that occupies some of the most valuable real estate inside the cab, the center console, will continue to add value in five or ten years.
Wireless phone charging is much more than a convenient way to charge a phone
Per Automotive News: “wireless charging serves a dual purpose: allowing use of the phone without draining the battery while discouraging a driver from holding the phone in his or her hands.”
Qi wireless charging gives automotive designers an important new tool with which to differentiate their products. Wireless charging is helping car companies offer new experiences like pre-programmed driver preferences for seat memory, HVAC settings, in-cab lighting experiences, streaming video and a host of other functions.—all with the knowledge that using these features will not result in a drained phone battery. As of February 15th, 2016, thirty-four models of cars offered wireless charging as either standard-equipment or a factory option and all but one of the top auto makers worldwide had at least one model of car available with wireless charging. It appears that the automotive industry has placed a bet that Qi wireless charging is here to stay.
Here are a few examples of advanced phone integration by innovative car companies:
2017 A4 Audi Allroad
According to Top Speed, this next-gen vehicle brings connectivity via 4G LTE as standard, and includes roadside assistance, smartphone calendar integration, remote function control, status reports, and media streaming. After pairing your iOS or Android device, a Qi wireless charging function keeps the battery topped off.
As NFC World notes, Mercedes showed its new E-Class cars with NFC entry for the first time at the Detroit Motor Show. The E-Class allows a phone to be paired with the car’s entertainment system via NFC by placing it on a Qi wireless charging pad built into the center console.
Read more about the latest cars with Qi:
• Hyundai’s Ioniq Hybrid shows its faces, promises sporty character – Digital Trends
• The Daily Drivers: 2016 Toyota Tacoma – Tampa Bay Times
• Toyota Land Cruiser: comfort meets ruggedness – The Nation
• Introducing the all-new 2016 Chevrolet Malibu – Detroit Free Press
• Toyota Camry review – Tech Radar
• 2016 Toyota Prius first drive – Auto Week
• BMW 7 Series ConnectedDrive: Wireless Charging Pocket – BMW YouTube
• All-New Kia Optima - Smartphone Wireless charging – Kia YouTube