This Full-size vs. RC Formula-E Matchup Is Pretty Cool, and Fake [VIDEO]

This Full-size vs. RC Formula-E Matchup Is Pretty Cool, and Fake [VIDEO]

Hat-tip to Jalopnik for this story, which teases with the highly clickable headline of “Watch This Electric Race Car Tear It Up With Its Superfast RC Twin.” The video is a fluff piece for Qualcomm’s “Halo” wireless charging technology for full-size electric cars. Instead of plugging the car into the power supply, you simply park it over a Halo spot and the car juices up via inductive charging. And as a fluff piece, it’s full of hokum.


Here’s the clip, which purports to show an RC car driving off after being inductively charged, then mixing it up with a full-size Formula-E car.


And here’s a “behind the scenes” video, which reveals quite a bit. Let’s dig into both clips…



Not sure why they felt the need to bring in a “robotics expert” to drive the car, other than to make it more “high tech” and “sciencey.”


Driving with phone

And why is she driving with a phone? The answer is likely, “because it will play better for the camera, and that’s what a robotics expert would do.”


Tamiya transmitter

…but it’s doubtful there was any actual phone-driving going on. The actual drivers are likely off-camera. The behind-the-scenes video shows a Tamiya transmitter in this shot…


Spektrum transmitter

…and a Spektrum here. Looks like a DX4R Pro.


Tamiya F104

As for the car, it’s actually more than one car (eleven, says this guy). They’re Tamiya F104s, and that looks like a Castle power system.


Stock tamiya 540

This car definitely has a stock 540. The cars in the clip don’t appear to shows faster-than-540 speeds.



Qualcomm definitely has wireless charging tech figured out, but I doubt they bothered to charge the RC cars wirelessly for the video. Doing so would only add time and expense to what was clearly a professional shoot where time is money. And it’s not like you can see inductive charging actually happening, so why bother trying to film it?  The charger appears to be just a prop used to convey the concept of inductive charging.


Charger not connected

“Wireless charging” means there’s no wire between the charger and car, but the charger itself needs a power source. But as you can see, the supposed inductive charger in the video isn’t connected to anything. So, it’s probably just a prop. Not that it’s a big deal; the video was created to conceptualize inductive charging, not prove it works or try to sell you an inductive charger for your RC Car. But if you’re going to show RC cars to RC car guys, you can bet we’re going to look closely and call you out on this stuff!


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Updated: July 21, 2015 — 2:59 PM
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