Robots helping you charge your car? Ford is on the case
American car manufacturer Ford is developing a prototype robot charging station. The innovation will be especially helpful for disabled drivers with EV’s. They can simply stay in the car, while charging. Forecourt Trader reports about it.
Most people will shrug their shoulders if you ask them if charging an electrical car poses any issues. Finding a charging point often seems their biggest worry. But if you are disabled, it might be a whole different story.
If you are visually disabled, have reduced mobility or are otherwise handicapped, charging your car might be a big challenge. A recent survey in the UK showed that 61% of disabled drivers would consider buying an electric vehicle, but only if charging was made more accessible.
Ford anticipated on this news and is currently testing a robot charging station. It’s part of a bigger research project to develop hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles.
Once activated, the station cover slides open and the charging arm extends towards the inlet with the help of a tiny camera. For the trial, drivers were able to monitor the charge status via their smartphone. After charging, the arm retracts back into place.
In the near future, the German built robot charging station could be installed at disabled parking spaces, in car parks or at private homes. Further applications could include fast and efficient charging of company fleets. The technology could also support more powerful charging to charge vehicles in a much shorter time.
Looking ahead, Ford says the process could become fully automated, with minimal or no driver involvement. The driver would simply send the vehicle to the charging station, with the infrastructure ensuring it reaches and returns from its destination autonomously.
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