Qualcomm is developing a new car dashboard that integrates a driver’s smartphone in order to power multimedia and navigation functions.
The system is compatible with both iPhones and Android and allows smartphone functionality to be extended to the dashboard when a user enters their car.
Once a device is plugged in, it begins charging and its display is shifted to a larger screen with a user interface optimised for vehicles in the middle of the dashboard.
From here, users can use their phone’s navigation functionality, as well as stream music and video directly to the car’s entertainment systems.
Certain functions, such as watching videos will not be available on the main dashboard screen in order not to distract the driver.
The system can be controlled through voice and the embedded touchscreen. Qualcomm believes this delivers a more seamless experience than current vehicles which do not have the same level of integration with user’s smartphones.
Qualcomm also demonstrated the latest version of its electric vehicle wireless charging technology called 'Halo'. It uses a pad placed on the ground underneath the vehicle which can wirelessly charge the battery when it is parked.
The system has approximately 10cm of leeway in all directions, so that drivers do not have to park precisely in order to begin charging, although an app on their phone will let them know how close they are to the optimum position.
Qualcomm says it is about 90 per cent efficient, only a few per cent less than traditional wired electric vehicle charging.
The pad is able to detect when materials such as aluminium fall underneath the car and automatically shuts off to prevent the metals from absorbing the energy and causing a fire hazard.
It is designed to work with a wide range of vehicle types and will still charge when the car’s underside is up to 30cm off the ground.
The technology can also be embedded directly into the ground, underneath a concrete layer, and Qualcomm is looking to launch a 100m test track at the end of the year that will allow vehicles to charge while on the move.
A similar wireless charging system for electric cars was recently demonstrated at the US Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) in Tennessee.