Categories: Automobiles

Ford and disability, tests for robotic columns have started

Ford in the service of disability. Charging an electric car for many people is a simple thing. For disabled drivers, people with reduced mobility and the elderly, this could be a major challenge.

Ford at the service of disability develops a prototype of a robotic charging station. So drivers can operate directly from the cockpit of the electric vehicle1, via their smartphone. The technology allows disabled drivers to stay in the car while charging. Or leave the vehicle while the robot does all the work.

Disabled drivers identify the ease of charging as one of the main reasons for purchasing electric vehicles. 2 Ford is testing the robotic charging station as part of a research project. For the development of hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automated charging solutions for self-driving vehicles.

After the first laboratory tests. Ford researchers have started the experimentation phase of the robotic charging station, in real contexts. Once activated, the station goes into operation. At that point, with the help of a small camera, the charging arm extends towards the entrance to the vehicle socket.

During testing, drivers can monitor the state of charge via the app FordPass. 3 After charging, the arm retracts to its original position.

Ford and disability: here are the tests of the robotic charging column

The robotic charging station, created ad hoc by the University of Dortmund, in Germany. It is in the future to be installed in parking spaces for the disabled, in parking lots or in private homes. Other applications could include fast charging for company fleet vehicles. The technology could also support more powerful charging for faster charging.

Going forward, the process could become fully automated, with little or no driver involvement. Especially at that point, it would only have to send the vehicle to the charging station, with the infrastructure capable of guaranteeing. This is able to reach and return from its destination, in completely autonomous mode.

Ford on the road to electrification

This research project is part of Ford’s concrete commitment to electrification. At a later stage, involving the charging network provider IONITY, the robotic charging station can be further improved.

Ford is also studying robotic charging solutions in conjunction with Automated Valet Parking. As demonstrated last year at the IAA in Munich, Germany.

The network Ford’s rapidly expanding Blue Oval Charging Network. It offers customers access to a charging infrastructure of over 300,000 stations across Europe. Ford Charge Assist, accessible via the touchscreen of Ford’s SYNC 4 system, 4 makes it easy for drivers to find stations and pay for charging.

For commercial vehicle customers, Ford Pro Charging offers bespoke solutions that include charging equipment. Continuous maintenance and management software that reduce paperwork and the planning of charging programs.

Published by
John Vassallo

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