If you own and electric vehicle (EV) and have tried to park it in a parking structure where there is the availability of a plug, you know that this can be a disconcerting challenge. Seems that all of those spaces are filled.
Enter the Robots
So Volkswagen has a concept to address that.
“The mobile charging robot will spark a revolution when it comes to charging in different parking facilities, such as multistory car parks, parking spaces and underground car parks because we bring the charging infrastructure to the car and not the other way around. With this, we are making almost every car park electric, without any complex individual infrastructural measures”, says Mark Möller, Head of Development at Volkswagen Group Components.
Yes, It Comes to Your Car
Through the use of V2X communications, the car communicates with the mobile charging robot. The robot pulls a charger that has an on-board energy storage of about 25 kWh. The robot, which is fitted with camera, laser scanners and ultrasonic sensors, knows where it needs to go. It connects the car with the charger. Then it can go on its way to another vehicle to do the same thing. The battery device provides DC charging up to 50 kW.
Park in Any Open Spot
“Even the well-known problem of a charging station being blocked by another vehicle will no longer exist with our concept. You simply choose any parking space as usual. You can leave the rest to our electronic helper,” says Möller.
No need to be lurking at the spot with the fixed charger, hoping that the vehicle owner returns.
Don’t Get Too Excited
This, however is a concept.
According to Volkswagen Group Components, which would be responsible for getting this device into existence, “a possible date for the market launch of the charging robot has not been set yet.”
But it doesn’t say that the compact charging robot isn’t possible, which is good news.
Robert Bosch GmbH has made an unspecified investment in DeepMap Inc., a Palo Alto, Calif.-based startup specializing in mapping technologies for autonomous vehicles.
Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. has become an affiliate member of the University of Michigan’s Mcity research campus, where the company plans to test tires on autonomous and electric vehicles.
Toyota Motor Corp. is encouraging employees at its research and development center near Ann Arbor, Mich., to participate in an on-going program there to test connected vehicle technologies.