According to a press release, Ford has created and begun testing a revolutionary robot charging station in an effort to aid drivers who are disabled or have limited mobility.
Ford is no stranger to charging as the automaker focuses on electric cars, and its most recent electric vehicle, the Ford F-150 Lightning, has a three-day battery life.
Ford researchers are currently putting the robot charging station through real-world testing after doing early lab testing.
station for robotic charging
The innovative robot charging station is controlled by Ford’s FordPass smartphone app, making it simple for drivers with disabilities to refuel their cars.
When the robot charger is turned on, the station cover swings open, and with the aid of a tiny camera, the charging arm stretches in the direction of the inlet. This is how Ford described how the robot charger functions in the press release. Drivers could check the charge status during the trial using the FordPass app. The arm retracts back into place after charging.
According to research engineer Birger Fricke of the Ford of Europe Research and Innovation Center, “Ford is committed to maintaining freedom of movement and at this time, refilling or charging your vehicle can be a significant issue for some drivers. For some, the robot charging station may be an extra convenience; yet, for others, it is a need.
According to a survey conducted in the U.K. by the Research Institute for Disabled Consumers, 61 percent of disabled drivers said they would think about purchasing an EV only if charging was more easily accessible to them.
Angela Aben, a Ford of Europe employee who uses a power wheelchair, stated, “I stopped filling up my car myself years ago because it became so taxing. I would have a lot more independence if robot charging stations were introduced.
The robot charging station, created by the Dortmund University in Germany, may soon be deployed in private residences, parking lots, and locations designated for people with disabilities. This technology may also be used to quickly and effectively charge business fleets.
The electrification of Ford
Ford’s dedication to electrification is complemented by this research endeavor. The goal of a subsequent project with charging network provider IONITY is to enhance the robot charging station even more. In addition, Ford is looking into automated valet parking options, as seen at the IAA in Munich, Germany, the previous year.
Ford has signed a petition with 27 other companies demanding that by 2035, all new cars and vans sold in Europe be zero-emission vehicles. Ford also demanded that Europe set goals for the expansion of the electric vehicle charging network to keep up with the rate of electric vehicle growth.