Recharging an EV at public stations is not the easiest of tasks for the mobility impaired, but the Ford robot charging station aims to change that. Once parked, users will be able to operate the robot using their smartphone from inside their vehicle. This project is currently being tested to develop hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles.
After the robot is activated, the station cover slides open and a charging arm extends towards the inlet with the help of a small camera. During this trial, drivers were able to monitor the charge status using the FordPass app. Once charging is complete, the arm automatically retracts back into place. In the future, these could be installed at disabled parking spaces, in car parks or at private homes. However, we may not even need charging stations in the future, as Cornell University’s wireless charging road for electric vehicles is already in the works.
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Ford is committed to ensuring freedom of movement and right now refuelling or charging your vehicle can be a major problem for some drivers. The robot charging station could be an added convenience for some people but – absolutely essential for others,” said Birger Fricke, research engineer, Research and Innovation Center, Ford of Europe.