Ahead of the Frankfurt Motor Show this week, Qualcomm has come out to announce that it'll be bringing its Halo wireless charging technology to the first-ever Formula E electric vehicle race next year. But before y'all get too excited, only the safety cars will be equipped with Halo for the first season, which goes from September 2014 to June 2015 in London, Rome, Berlin, Beijing, Kuala Lumpur, Los Angeles and many more places.As with these safety cars plus trial vehicles from London taxi firm Addison Lee, the current-gen Halo requires electric vehicles to stay still on large charging pads, which isn't ideal for racing cars. That said, Qualcomm CMO Chandrasekher told us that his folks are already looking into bringing dynamic charging to racing cars starting in the second season. In other words, these battery-powered vehicles will eventually be able to recharge while still running on the race track!Another interesting aspect of Formula E is that unlike the traditional Formula 1, the former's lower noise pollution allows its vehicles to run through the heart of cities. But not all fun is lost, as the cars will instead have a high-pitched jet engine sound, so old-school racing fans may still approve.
Chandrasekher, who's a self-confessed auto nut, added that Qualcomm has signed up to be both a funding partner as well as a technology partner for Formula E, in order to promote sustainability. This means the company will be providing support to the race's wireless data backend for the vehicle monitoring network, as well as letting the audience follow the race on their mobile devices in real time. Naturally, Qualcomm will also be sponsoring a team, hence the above teaser photo of a Formula E car from long-time buddy Drayson Racing.As for Halo's commercial availability, Chandrasekher said his company is currently still in discussion with suppliers to car manufacturers, but it won't be too long before these Halo-powered vehicles start to show up with a price tag."There are a few [suppliers] that are already building with our technology, so within the next few years, hopefully we'll see some of this in market," said the exec. "If you're looking for something that's not commercial but in production, the Drayson Racing cars are in production using our technology."Exciting times, but the lack of petrol fume may confuse the Stig.