Following recent news that the all-new Lexus NX SUV will become the first car sold in Australia offering a wireless charging platform for smartphones, Audi has confirmed it will join the race to clear in-car clutter with forthcoming models to adopt inductive charging for devices.
Audi product manager Marie Suzanne Ernst told CarAdvice that wireless charging is the way of the future.
“We are working on topics like this,” she said.
“It’s convenience, and it’s coming. It’s coming in I think every brand, every model, and we are always working on innovations, and we’re working on this as well,” Ernst told CarAdvice.
As with the Lexus NX system, the inductive charging system will require that Apple iPhones are equipped with an inductive-responsive cover, while some Android-based phones will be drop-charge ready. The current industry standard is that phones must be Qi-equipped.
“For the iPhone you need a case. The newer phones, especially Android, have it included,” Ernst said.
“I think it will be the new standard in the automobiles for every brand, not only Audi,” she said.
This type of charge system has been shown to be less efficient as plugging in, as some energy will be lost through dissipation. However, Ernst predicts that having cables through the cabin will remain the case for some time, despite the ever-expanding capabilities of Bluetooth-enabled media systems.
“I think it will take some years [before cords are done away with entirely],” she said. “There are some technologies that need a plug in, so I think it will take some years to have all the innovations working without plugging in.”
Lexus wasn't the first brand to offer wireless in-car device charging. Chrysler offers a wireless charging mat for its models in the US, while the 2013 Toyota Avalon was the first production car to be built with the tech installed as standard.
Tell us what you think below – would you prefer wireless or to use a cord when recharging your device?