Google’s cars have been working to make the experience of driving more and more hands-off.
First, the car is electric, meaning you won’t have to worry about gas stops anymore.
This has several benefits, including energy savings and emissions reduction.
Next, the car is autonomous, so you won’t even technically have to drive — or won’t be able to if the company gets approval for its pedal-less, steering wheel-less design.
Autonomous cars have already been hailed as improvements upon the modern transportation system. It’s estimated that they could reduce vehicle fatalities by 90%.
And now Google is taking the plunge into yet another still-developing, hands-off technology: wireless charging.
That’s right: you won’t even have to plug the thing in! If Google succeeds, all owners will have to do is get into the car and tell it where they’re going.
The proof of these developments comes from patents filed by Alphabet, Google’s parent company since the recent restructuring.
Wireless charging stations have also already been installed, presumably for testing, in several of Google’s own locations. Two of these are campuses, and one is an unknown location X.
These testing models, only prototypes right now, are made by HEVO and Momentum Dynamics. Both companies’ chargers use resonant magnetic induction to transfer energy, and HEVO’s models are small enough to plausibly be embedded into streets to make charging constant.
This is a technology that is still developing, even though it isn’t technically new. Several phone types have been able to charge this way with small wireless charging mats, and Plugless Power even offers a wireless charging capability for certain car models.
But these still require the device — phone or car — to be directly on top of the charger to function. Google wants to expand the chargers’ range so that the car can charge from a distance, or at speed.
This could improve mobility for any number of people who would normally be incapable of driving themselves. Not only will the car be able to get them safely from point A to point B, but it could do so without the need to stop and refuel.
What’s more, if recharging were constant, EV’s could be equipped with smaller batteries. This alone would increase the driving range and lower the price of the car.
There are still more tests to be done before Google’s wireless, driverless, all-electric vehicles hit the open market, but every step forward counts.
To continue reading about Google’s wireless EV’s, simply click here to read the Christian Science Monitor article.
Until next time,
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