FRANKFURT (Reuters) -- Daimler is forming a partnership with mobile technologies company Qualcomm to explore wireless recharging of mobile phones in cars as well as recharging of electric cars without cables.
The move forms part of a broader push by Daimler, parent company of Mercedes-Benz, as well as rival German carmakers BMW and Audi to build their expertise in software and telecommunications to bolster their status as high-tech carmakers in an era when tightening emission rules force them to downsize engines, once a mainstay of profit.
In a joint statement Saturday, Daimler and Qualcomm said they were assessing the application of wireless technology to charge their electric vehicles and plug-in hybrid EVs without ever having to plug them in.
The companies are also exploring technologies that will enable customers to wirelessly charge devices such as mobile phones while driving in their car, as well as ways to enhance in-car experience through high-speed 3G/4G connectivity.
"It's important that we remain on the cutting edge of technology and continue to deliver unparalleled experiences to our customers," said Thomas Weber, Daimler's board member for research and development.
"With this in mind, we are eager to jointly explore possible fields of future cooperation with an internationally leading tech firm like Qualcomm," Weber said in the statement.
Germany's premium automakers Mercedes, BMW and Audi are currently on a tear to bulk up their technology expertise, and are said to be readying an offer with private equity firm General Atlantic to bid for Nokia's mapping division HERE.