Wireless phone charging in cars comes closer to reality
Charging smartphones while driving could soon be a simple process using a special wireless mat rather than with cables or adaptors.
Toyota plans to introduce the system for mobile devices in 2013 in its new Avalon sedan, using a charging standard known as Qi (pronounced "chee").
Chrysler wants to offer a similar option in its Dodge Dart model.
According to one analyst, the feature was likely to become mainstream in the months to come.
The wireless charging option will be a part of Toyota's 1,950 dollars (1,200 pounds) "technology package", said to be available from next spring.
To charge a device, a driver will simply have to place it on the mat, though the handset has to have a Qi protocol integrated in it.
Currently, Qi wireless charging is supported by 34 mobile phone models, including the LG Google Nexus 4, Nokia Lumia 920 and HTC Windows Phone 8X.
There are also add-on systems for other smartphones.
"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," the BBC quoted Randy Stephens, chief engineer of Toyota Avalon, as saying in a statement.
Qi works via magnetic induction that involves transmitting energy over a magnetic field.
"We're constantly striving to get thinner devices but by adding an infrastructure inside a device can compromise the thinness," Shaun Collins from CCS Insight said.
Inductive charging plates have been around for several years, and have been integrated in some mobile phones, such as the Palm Pre.