Accessibility for all users, whether they have a disability or not, is one of the great premises that most companies that are dedicated to the automotive industry have. In many cases we find a type of architectural barriers that complicate the correct functionality of the models and especially of the users when they have to go to refuel. Therefore, andn Ford have been working on a revolutionary pilot project which has already entered a test phase where a robotic charging station will help this increasingly broad group.
For many years, large companies have forgotten about a minority group that is increasingly large, focusing all their efforts on facilitating refueling or electric recharging. However, for people with reduced mobility and the elderly can be a major challenge. In this way, in Ford, they have worked for a prototype of robotic load that can be managed from the Smartphone.
The most recent surveys that have been conducted suggest that many disabled users have been hesitating with many models regarding the capacity and ease of recharging in electric models. Ford is testing the robotic charging station as part of a research project to develop hands-free charging solutions for electric vehicles and fully automatic charging for autonomous vehicles.
Once the laboratory and simulation stage has been passed, it is necessary to take action and therefore, Ford has decided to test it in real life. To do this, when a lid is activated it opens and the loading arm extends towards the entrance thanks to a microcamera. In the test, drivers were able to monitor the state of the charge through the FordPass app. After loading, the arm retracts into place.
Manufactured by the University of Dortmund (Germany), it is expected that they can be installed in spaces for the disabled, homes or car parks. Looking to the future, expect this process to be completely autonomous with minimal or no participation by the owner or driver.