Ford start trials of robot charging station build to help specially-abled people
Ford has created a prototype of a robot charging station that specially-abled drivers will be able to operate using their smartphone from inside their electric vehicle. Ford informs that this technology can be used by the user to charge the EV while staying inside it or they could leave the car while the robot does all the work. The automaker shared that specially-abled drivers have shared that charging through this technology is easy.
Ford is also testing the robot charging station as part of a research project to build hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles. After the lab testing, Ford is now putting the robot charging station to the test in real-life situations. After the set-up is activated, the station cover slides open and the charging arm extends towards the inlet with the help of a tiny camera and during the trial process, drivers will be able to monitor the charge status via the FordPass app. After charging the EV, the arm will automatically retract back into place.
Ford said in the coming years there is a possibility that the process may become fully automated, with minimal or no driver involvement. The driver will be able to send the vehicle to the charging station, with the infrastructure ensuring it reaches and returns from its destination autonomously. A follow-up project with the charging network provider IONITY will look to further improve the robot charging station, added the automaker.
Research engineer, Research and Innovation Center, Ford of Europe, Birger Fricke said Ford wants to ensure freedom of movement and currently refuelling or charging vehicles 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," added Fricke.