Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for a new hands-free charging system, Ford Authority has learned.
The patent was filed on September 10th, 2020, published on September 13th, 2022, and assigned serial number 11440424.
The Ford Authority Take
Aside from testing an EV charging station robot in Europe, Ford has filed a host of charger-related patents in recent months, including one for a haptic feedback system, an EV charging station guidance system, a portable high-voltage EV charging system, an in-flight charging system for EVs, and a hands-free charging system. Now, this new Ford patent introduces another idea for a hands-free charging system that’s a bit different than the one depicted in the previous filing.
This new Ford patent outlines an idea for a hands-free EV charging system that consists of an energy-storing device and a robotic coupler that’s capable of connecting itself to a vehicle’s charge port. All of these systems are programmed to act automatically, require no feedback from the driver of the vehicle, and can also decouple itself when charging is complete.
The biggest difference between this new system and the one depicted in the older patent is the presence of a loss detection system, which – in the event that there is a loss of power – can send a signal to stop charging the vehicle and retract the robotic coupler from the vehicle. If and when power is restored, the coupler can reconnect and charging can resume.
As is the case with Ford’s European pilot program, this type of system is ideal for those that may struggle to physically exit a vehicle and plug in a charger, as well as a perfect solution for autonomous vehicles, which would be able to pull into a charger with no human interaction needed.