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Daimler and Qualcomm announce strategic collaboration on connected car technologies, wireless EV charging

Daimler AG and Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. (QTI), a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, announced a strategic collaboration focused on connected car technologies. In the first phase of the collaboration, the companies will focus on transforming future vehicles with mobile technologies that enhance in-car experiences and vehicle performance such as 3G/4G connectivity; wireless charging technology for in-vehicle use; and implementation of the Qualcomm Halo Wireless Electric Vehicle Charging (WEVC) technology.

In addition, the companies are jointly assessing the application of Qualcomm Technology’s newly developed Automotive Solutions.

Qualcomm Technologies is collaborating with Daimler on its Wireless Power Transfer 2.0 program for electric vehicles. The Qualcomm Halo WEVC technology provides high performance and high power in a small vehicle package that could allow Mercedes customers to charge their electric vehicles (EV) and plug-in hybrid EVs without ever having to plug them in. In addition, Qualcomm’s WiPower technology enables consumer electronics to charge wirelessly in-vehicle.

Qualcomm Halo uses high-power, resonant magnetic inductive wireless energy transfer and supports a relatively wide air gap between base charging unit (BCU) and vehicle charging unit (VCU). The charging pad’s multi-coil design (“Double “D” Quadrature”) delivers high energy-transfer efficiency and high power—3.3 kW, 6.6 kW or 20 kW—even if the pads are misaligned. The high degree of tolerance in both the vertical (z) and lateral (x,y) planes means drivers do not have to park accurately or need complex and expensive on-board alignment systems.

In implementing a wireless power transfer system in a vehicle, a number of parameters need to be optimized and established based on the specific needs and performance parameters of the target vehicle. These include:

  • Operating frequency
  • Output power
  • Power factor
  • Z – Vertical offset tolerance
  • X/Y – Horizontal offset tolerance
  • Power output
  • Maximum output current
  • Maximum output voltage
  • Output current ripple
  • Ingress protection
  • Environmental operating temperature conditions
  • Efficiency
  • Cooling (passive v active)
  • Vehicle communications
  • Base-pad terminal voltage
  • Volume of vehicle charging unit (VCU) (pad and controller)
  • Weight of VCU (pad and controller)
  • Volume of base charging unit (BCU) (pad and power supply)
  • Weight of BCU (pad and power supply)
  • Connectors for VCU and VCU
  • Mountings and fitment points for VCU and BCU
  • Vehicle EMI constraints
  • Regulatory environmental field emissions constraints
  • Radio frequency noise constraints

It’s important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers. With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech-firm like Qualcomm.

—Prof. Dr. Thomas Weber, Member of the Board of Management of Daimler AG responsible for Group Research and Mercedes-Benz Cars Development

Automotive Solutions. Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Automotive Solutions include the automotive grade Snapdragon 602A processor; Snapdragon 3G/4G LTE wireless modems and Qualcomm VIVE 802.11ac and Bluetooth technologies.

The 602A processor, designed for the automotive industry, is an integrated chipset solution for advanced multimedia, navigation, connectivity, and voice quality and control. The chipset features up to a 1.5 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Krait 300 CPU; the Qualcomm Adreno 320 GPU; and the Hexagon V40 DSP (up to 600MHz).

It supports 1080p30 playback and capture with H.264 (AVC) and offers MIPI—CSI with support for up to 4 simultaneous cameras.

As an example of the potential, the real time image processing on the Adreno GPU can power a lane detection feature by capturing raw frames of the actual route of the car. The GPU uses the intensity filter which detect markings on the road. Edge detection, which fits a straight line to the edge and estimates the vanishing point, is then applied. With this information, the GPU is able to construct an overlay. In the end, the graphics engine renders a high quality 3D map.

Snapdragon Automotive Solutions feature pre-integrated support for Android and QNX operating systems with automotive-specific optimizations and integrated application frameworks that enable automakers to build connected infotainment systems compliant with automotive requirements for fast boot of critical services.

In conjunction with the Snapdragon Automotive Solutions, Qualcomm Technologies offers the Snapdragon Automotive Development Platform. The platform enables development and demonstration of a wide range of connected infotainment use cases on a highly integrated, optimized hardware platform that offers support for both Android and QNX software environments, and allows automakers, tier-1 suppliers and application developers to rapidly develop, test and deploy next generation connected infotainment solutions.

Our work with Daimler AG is a natural extension of the sponsorship we have with the MERCEDES AMG PETRONAS Formula One team as our work in motorsports cultivates the innovation and advancements seen in the auto space. The automobile has become an extension of always-on connectivity, and as such, we’re continuously utilizing our expertise in wireless mobility to deliver in-car experiences comparable to the ease and convenience of smartphones.

—Derek Aberle, president of Qualcomm Incorporated


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