Ford Trials Hands-Free EV Charging Station

Ford has developed a hands-free robot charging station for electric vehicles (EV) that can be operated via the driver’s smartphone.

Once activated, the robot charging station opens and the charging arm extends towards the car’s charging inlet, guided by a tiny camera. Drivers can then monitor the vehicle’s charge via the FordPass app. Once charging is complete, the arm will retract back into the station.

This technology would make it easier for disabled drivers to recharge an EV, as they would no longer need to leave their car.

Hands-Free EV Charging
For disabled drivers or people with reduced mobility and older people, it can be a significant challenge to recharge or refuel a car
Birger Fricke, Research Engineer, Research and Innovation Center, Ford of Europe, said:

“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.”

Ford is testing the robot EV charging station as part of a research project that aims to develop hands-free charging for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging solutions for autonomous vehicles.

Following initial lab testing, Ford researchers are now testing the robot charging station in real-life situations.

In future, the robot charging station could be installed at disabled parking spaces, in car parks or at private homes.

Ford also anticipates that the process could become fully automated, with minimal or no driver involvement.

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