The news: Years in the making, it now seems wireless charging systems for cars might soon be a reality. It was announced Thursday that Toyota Motor Corp. has signed an intellectual property licensing agreement with wireless charging pioneers WiTricity.
WiTricty does not itself build wireless charging products, but instead liscences out its technology to a company like Toyota, which announced, under this new licensing agreement, that it aims to offer wireless charging on upcoming plug-in hybrid electric and fully electric Toyota vehicles, including their very popular Prius line.
As seen in the video below, WiTricity's technology enables products to charge from a distance without any physical connection. Toyota has been an investor in WiTricity since 2011, but the company has been around for several years developing their technology and making slow but steady progress along the way.
Though several similar companies have been developing wireless charging systems, WiTricity is one of the first to strike a deal with a major automobile manufacturer like Toyota that should promise a wide distribution of the technology amongst the general public.
What's next: For all its successes so far, WiTricity and companies like it are really only scratching the surface of wireless charging technology. To be a truly applicable technology for cars and large appliances, WiTricity will need to make sure their charging stations work well and work fast. But the results are so far positive and with major car companies like Toyota signing on, hopefully this won't be too far off.
This advancement in charging technology is also a boon to the mission for green cars with less emissions and more sustainable fuel systems. By advancing and perfecting the technology, car makers like Toyota are betting they can get enough drivers interested in charging up instead of fueling up.
"WiTricity's mission is to make wireless charging available as widely as possible, and this announcement is a significant step toward accomplishing that mission," WiTricity CEO Eric Giler, said in a statement. "We envision a world in which wireless charging accelerates the adoption of clean, green electrified vehicles." Wouldn't that be a nice world for everyone?