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Wireless Charging Takes Center Stage for GM Cars in 2015

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author photo by Lindsay Martell September 2013

A dead cellphone battery is bad, but forgetting your power cord is worse, especially when you're at a standstill in commuter traffic. You may be able to sever your ties with that pesky cable if you're thinking about buying a General Motors car in the next year or so.

Working with the wireless charging experts at Powermat, the country's biggest automaker will offer wire-free charging for your beloved smartphone in a handful of 2015 vehicles. That means, no more fumbling for your power cord or dealing with a device that's run out of juice.

Instead of being a slave to plugged-in power, drivers can simply place mobile devices onto a Powermat charging pad that, in turn, draws electricity to charge the device. The charging time is reportedly comparable to the old, wired method.

And while GM won't comment on future products, they have worked with Powermat since 2011 on potential wireless charging in vehicle applications.

In a statement, the company says it doesn't plan to implement any wireless charging until model year 2015.

Perhaps by then more phones will have Powermat's technology. According to GigaOM.com, most devices -- the Nokia Lumia, Samsung Galaxy S3 and Galaxy S4, Verizon LG G2, for example -- come with Qi, the interface standard of wireless charging. iPhone can't charge cable-free, so Powermat created a special case for it. And if the phone companies don't snap up the Powermat tech, many drivers of GM vehicles may have special charging pads for their devices so the wireless action can kick in.

GM is one of several automakers rushing to implement this cordless technology. The 2013 Toyota Avalon and the Dodge Dart already have it. And, earlier this month, Qualcomm announced it would bring its Halo wireless charging technology to the first-ever Formula E electric vehicle race next year.

Imagine a no-strings-attached commute, reduced distraction and slashed clutter. Just another way we can give technology a big ol' virtual hug.

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Wireless Charging Takes Center Stage for GM Cars in 2015 - Autotrader