HomeTech NewsFord introduced electric car charging station for disabled users

Ford introduced electric car charging station for disabled users

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Unlike service stations, where fueling is usually assisted, charging stations for electric cars work completely autonomously, simply by plugging them in.

For those living with some degree of physical disability, this latter process is somewhat challenging. However, a robotic arm developed for this purpose by Ford could automate the entire process.

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Ford’s proposal to assist people with disabilities with charging electric cars

Automatically plugging a car into a charging station can free a disabled person who drives an electric vehicle from a heavy load, by eradicating the need for any maneuver associated with this process that requires getting out of the vehicle.

In the future, electric cars could be charged with little or no effort from the driver. Although at the level of comfort, this proposal could be used transversally, in the case of disabled drivers, they can simply go to a charging station and activate it with their mobile. Upon activation, the robotic arm would take care of the rest of the process, reaching toward the entrance with the help of a tiny camera.

Apart from the case presented in the example, this technology could be a great contribution to the deployment of autonomous vehicles, eliminating the dependence on manual energy recharging, which currently depends on human action.

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This robotic arm was custom-made by the University of Dortmund, in Germany, and could be installed in parking spaces for electric vehicles for the disabled, as well as in private homes. Once charging is complete (or stopped by the driver on their smartphone), the robotic arm retracts into the station and the electric car can safely drive away.

Birger Fricke, Research Engineer, Ford of Europe Research and Innovation Center said: “Ford is committed to ensuring freedom of movement and right now, refueling or charging your vehicle can be a big deal for some drivers. The robotic charging station might be an added convenience for some people, but absolutely essential for others.”.

Ford has already carried out laboratory tests with this development and is now working on the first real uses of his invention, reaping positive feedback so far, standing out so far for the path that is being opened towards the autonomy of people with disabilities and for the time savings that could mean for large fleets of electric and autonomous vehicles in the future.

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