Motoring News

Auto charging: Just send your car for a top-up

Disabled drivers can stay in the car while charging

• Monitor charge status through FordPass

• Complements Ford’s commitment to electrification

PRETORIA, South Africa – Filling a fuel tank or charging an electric vehicle is easy for most drivers but not so for those with reduced mobility or older people.

So, Ford has developed a prototype robot charging station that can be controlled from a cellphone so drivers can stay in their seat while the robot does the necessary.

Ford is testing such as robot ( see image ) as part of a research project to develop hands-free charging for autonomous vehicles and researchers are now testing the robot which can extend the charging arm to the vehicle’s inlet with the help of a tiny camera.

HOMES AND OFFICES, TOO

Drivers, for the trial, could monitor the charge status through the FordPass app and, after charging, tell the arm to retract.

Germany’s Dortmund University says such units could be installed at defined parking spaces, at homes, or even outside corporate offices for fast and efficient charging of company fleets.

Looking ahead, Carman’s Corner was told the process could become fully automated with minimal or no driver involvement. The driver could simply send the vehicle to the charging station to “top up”.

300 000 CHARGING STATIONS IN EUROPE

This research project, Ford says, could complement its commitment to electrification and is even researching robot charging for automated valet parking.

Ford’s fast-growing Blue Oval Charging Network provides access to a network of more than 300 000 chargers across Europe.

Ford recently joined 27 companies in a petition to ensure all new cars and vans in Europe are zero emissions from 2035 and called for targets to grow electric-vehicle charging infrastructure to keep pace.

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