Chrysler’s first in-vehicle wireless charger will save you some hassle… for a price

April 11, 2012
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Whether you are a professional driver, a road warrior, or you just use your car to get for your daily commute, you probably feel the need to use your smartphone in your vehicle on a regular basis.

One of the biggest inconveniences in using a smartphone in a car these days is the charging process. You need all sorts of annoying power cords to keep your gadget alive, with all the problems associated with it. Wireless charging would be a pretty obvious solution to this problem, at least in theory, but for now there is no established wireless technology that can be used on a large scale in the automotive industry.

However, that could well change in the near future, according to an official press release we got from Chrysler. According to the release, Chrysler’s Mopar division is planning to become the world’s first ever car manufacturer to completely eliminate power cords from cars. Starting with the 2013 Dodge Dart, Chrysler’s cars will offer an optional in-vehicle wireless charging system, available to all clients for $199.99, plus installation fees.

The wireless charging system consists of a dedicated charging “mat”, placed inside the center console where users can simply toss their compatible devices, start their car up, and begin charging.

While Chrysler’s wireless charging solution seems fairly straightforward and convenient, there are still a couple of quirks that the automaker needs to solve in order to make someone like me pay over 200 bucks for this. First of all, according to Chrysler, the system will work with iPhones, BlackBerries, some MP3 players, as well as a bunch of Android-based smartphones and even small-size tablets. However, it’s still unclear exactly what devices will be supported.

Considering the fact that there are very few devices featuring built-in wireless charging functions these days (I actually don’t know any, to be honest), you will probably need some kind of a third party solution, probably both hardware and software.

Secondly, as far as I can tell from Chrysler’s press release, in order to make the system work properly on your phone, you will need a  special case. To get that case, you will most likely have to pay an additional couple of bucks, so all in all, the system might well go over $250 total, which, for me, seems a bit steep, especially considering that a home-use wireless charger goes for less than $50.

Finally, I personally am not very drawn to a wireless charging system that only allows you to move your gadget for a couple of inches. I know, I know, I’m being a bit harsh on Chrysler, especially considering the fact that the automaker is a pioneer in this field. For the time being, we should probably just wait out. Maybe Chrysler system will be cheaper and easier to use in reality than it sounds right now in theory.

What do you guys think, would you be interested in getting this option for your Dodge Dart for two or three hundred dollars? Or do you think that someone will come with a better and cheaper solution soon enough?

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