Ford has disclosed a very unusual project it is working on: a charging station that connects into the car, making life much easier for EV users with physical impairments.
Ford has created a prototype robot charging station that drivers can manage from inside their electric vehicle using their smartphone. Disabled persons may be able to stay in their automobiles while charging, or they may be able to get out of the car and let the robot take care of everything while they shop, eat, or use the toilet.
Ford researchers are now testing the robot charging station in real-world scenarios. When engaged, the station cover glides open, and the charging arm stretches toward the intake through a small camera. The arm then retracts back into position after charging is completed. During the whole process, drivers can monitor their charging levels using Ford’s app.
In the future, the procedure might be totally automated, with little or no driver participation. The driver would just dispatch the car to the charging station, with the infrastructure guaranteeing that it receives the correct charge and arrives on time.
These robot charging stations (developed by Dortmund University in Germany) might eventually be installed in handicapped parking places, auto parks, or even private houses. Fast and effective charging of business fleets might potentially be an excellent application for the technology.
Furthermore, Ford is investigating robot charging solutions in conjunction with Automated Valet Parking. Customers would be able to drop off their car at a parking lot and have it automatically discover and charge itself while they are away.
Reference- Ford Online Newsroom, Interesting Engineering, EV Obsession, Clean Technica, Autoblog