Remove The Driver And Cut The Cord: Google Autonomous EVs To Gain Wireless Charging Support

Google Self Driving Car 2
Of all the companies out there that are committed to autonomous vehicle, Google by far has the most experience and has racked up the most amount of “driver free” miles. The company started its autonomous efforts with modified Toyota Prius hybrids and then later expanded the fleet to include Lexus RX 450h hybrids. More recently, Google has devoted attention to its homegrown fully electric vehicle (EV), which looks like a supersized Cozy Coupe.

With its homegrown autonomous EV, Google has already eliminated the driver from the equation — now it wants to simplify things even further by recharging the vehicle wirelessly instead of plugging it directly into an outlet. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) filings show that Google is testing two different wireless charging systems for its two-person runabouts: Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics.

Both companies are known qualities in the automotive wireless charging space, offering systems (which are embedded in driveways and roadways) that charge everything from small cars to large city buses. Prototype Momentum Dynamics charging systems are being used at Google’s Mountain View headquarters and at the Castle Commerce Center (a former military installation that is now being used for autonomous driving trials). Hevo Power’s wireless charging system is only being used at Google’s HQ for now.

Google Self Driving Car

IEEE Spectrum, which first noticed the FCC filings, reckons that the use of wireless chargers embedded into roadways would allow EVs to use smaller, lighter batteries (and thus reducing costs) since there would be greater opportunities to pause and grab a quick recharge without any user intervention. The end-game would be to have significant infrastructure built into existing roadways to make continual recharging a possibility.

On that latter, point the United Kingdom is already studying the feasibility of implanting such a system along its motorways in the near future using Shaped Magnetic Field in Resonance (SMFIR) technology.