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Qualcomm and Mercedes-AMG Extend Partnership for Communications and Wireless

By Ken Briodagh October 20, 2017

Qualcomm Technologies and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport have announced that the two companies will extend their partnership and continue to develop and test high-speed wireless communications and the wireless transfer of power for Formula One. The new tests reportedly will use advanced connected car solutions like 802.11ac Wi-Fi, 802.11ad Wi-Fi, 5G New Radio (NR), cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) and Qualcomm WiPower wireless charging, on the track. Qualcomm Technologies and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport said they remain committed to developing innovative solutions, leveraging the expertise of both companies.

Expanding beyond the initial tests with 5 GHz 802.11ac Wi-Fi technology in 2015, Qualcomm and Mercedes-AMG Motorsports in 2016 tested high-speed wireless download of vehicle data using 802.11ad Wi-Fi technology in the 60 GHz band. During the field trials, race engineers gathered data directly from the team’s race cars while in the pit and garage. Using the 60 GHz band, the team has been able to show real-world throughputs of 1.5 Gbps, which is 3.5 times faster than performance results previously achieved with the prior 5 GHz solution. In addition, lab testing using both 5 GHz and 60 GHz simultaneously indicates that throughputs close to 2 Gbps can be achieved, resulting in 4-5x improvement in speed from previous implementation.

Test results have also shown how quickly and efficiently data can be pulled from the vehicle to help evaluate vehicle performance under extreme race conditions. Qualcomm Technologies will continue to evaluate performance increases in the 60 GHz and 5 GHz off-load programs, and to explore new technologies to make it possible for Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport to send data straight to their race engineers without making a pit stop via emerging 5G wireless and C-V2X technologies.

“Qualcomm Technologies has been delivering wireless communications, including cellular, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to the automotive industry for over a decade,” said Derek Aberle, president, Qualcomm Incorporated. “Working closely with Mercedes, Qualcomm Technologies has been able to fine-tune and advance our technologies under the extreme conditions of a race track to deliver the most cutting-edge solutions for advanced vehicle applications.”

In addition to the wireless transfer of data, Qualcomm Technologies and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Motorsport will collaborate on testing the wireless transfer of power using a WiPower interface. Evaluating various difficult-to-access interfaces on the vehicle, the teams intend to replace physical connectors with wireless power interfaces, thus enabling rapid dismantling and reassembly of vehicle parts during complex repair resulting from on track incidents.

“Winning in Formula One means working with the best in order to innovate in every area – and this is what our partnership with Qualcomm Technologies brings us,” said Toto Wolff, Head of Mercedes-Benz Motorsport. “Not only have we worked to develop solutions for the track, which give us a competitive advantage each race weekend, but these projects serve as a laboratory for cutting-edge solutions that will make their way into automotive applications in the near future. It's the perfect demonstration of how the high-tech environment of Formula One can accelerate the development of technologies with applications a long way beyond racing.”


Ken Briodagh is a writer and editor with more than a decade of experience under his belt. He is in love with technology and if he had his druthers would beta test everything from shoe phones to flying cars.

Edited by Ken Briodagh

Editorial Director

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