Toyota to offer wireless phone charging

Dec. 20, 2012 at 8:32 PM

TOKYO, Dec. 20 (UPI) -- Japanese automaker Toyota says it will introduce an option on its new Avalon model to let drivers recharge their cellphones by simply placing them on a mat.

Wireless charging mats that have allowed phone owners to conveniently charge their phones at home are moving into the auto arena, as Dodge has also announced plans to make the option available on its new Darts.

Toyota's wireless charging option is part of a $1,950 "technology package" that also includes dynamic radar cruise control, automatic high beams and a pre-collision warning system, TG Daily reported Thursday.

Toyota's system will follow the Qi standard, a global standard for wireless power and charging supported by over 34 models of cellphone.

"Pioneering the ability to charge with no wires or connectors by simply putting devices in the car console is an intuitive innovation which reflects Toyota's continuing commitment to improve the consumer experience," Randy Stephens, chief engineer of Toyota Avalon, said.

The console charging mat will include a high-friction surface designed to make sure the phone doesn't fall off, he said.

"We see wireless charging as an important feature that helps enhance the high-technology theme."

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