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Autonomous Ford EVs May Gain Ability To Charge On The Road

Ford Motor Company has filed a patent for an electric autonomous vehicle road charging system that could be used by future Ford EVs, Ford Authority has learned.

The patent was filed on February 1st, 2022, published on August 3rd, 2023, and assigned serial number 0241992.

Ford Patent Electric Autonomous Vehicle Road Charging System

The Ford Authority Take

As it aims to invest $50 billion in electrification by 2026, Ford has also filed a large number of EV-related patents over the past few months, a list that includes ideas for a roadway charging coil alignment and monitoring system, an EV charging coordination system, an in-flight EV towing assistance system, and an in-flight charging system. However, while the automaker recently shifted gears away from its planned efforts to develop a fully-autonomous driving feature and is instead focused on Level 3 and 4 self-driving features, this new patent takes a bit more of a forward-looking approach by introducing an idea for an electric autonomous vehicle road charging system that could be used by future Ford EVs.

Ford Patent Electric Autonomous Vehicle Road Charging System

Since Ford envisions using fully autonomous electric vehicles as ride sharing vessels in the future, it acknowledges in this patent that those types of vehicles face some special challenges – most notably, the fact that after shuttling passengers around for so long, those vehicles will need to charge their battery pack, which – for now, at least – is a time-consuming task. Plus, charging in between customers reduces the number of rides that a vehicle can embark on in a given day.

Ford Patent Electric Autonomous Vehicle Road Charging System

Obviously, no one using a ride share service is interested in waiting while a vehicle charges, which is precisely where this patent comes into play. This system would be capable of charging EVs while they’re in use, using an electric autonomous vehicle (EAV) to handle that specific task. When the vehicle reaches a certain threshold in terms of battery charge, it could simply communicate with a nearby EAV and use it to recharge its battery pack while on the move. A simple yet potentially effective idea, this patent could certainly see use in future Ford EVs – once full autonomy becomes viable, of course.

We’ll have more on this and all Ford patents soon, so be sure and subscribe to Ford Authority for the latest¬†Ford patent news, Ford business news, and non-stop Ford news coverage.

Brett's lost track of all the Fords he's owned over the years and how much he's spent modifying them, but his current money pits include an S550 Mustang and 13th gen F-150.

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Comments

  1. Tigger

    What a stupid idea for a concept few are interested in. This waste of money would be better served improving the quality issues and filling gaps in Ford’s product lineup.

    Reply
    1. M.J.Tocci

      Tigger: Didn’t see your post before I submitted mine – forgive the redundancy.

      Reply
      1. Tigger

        NP. Nice to see there are like minded people.

        Reply
  2. M.J.Tocci

    50 billion dollars down the drain… rather, spend a fraction of that on improving the efficiency of the internal combustion engine and production methods, and pass on the savings to your customers, so that a blue collar man can afford to buy a new pickup once every decade. Spoken as a current owner/operator of 3 pre-2001 Ford Trucks and Van with an average mileage of 235,000, who would love to be able to justify paying $47,000.00 for a new base model F250.

    Reply
  3. David Dickinson II

    This concept defeats the entire purpose of the EV–to go green. If you need a secondary vehicle with charging capabilities to shadow an EV while in motion, then you have to power that secondary vehicle which increases your energy consumption. It would be better to park the first vehicle and charge it while a second vehicle takes over shuttling people back and forth.

    Or just stick with ICE vehicles if EVs are such a hassle.

    Reply
  4. Timothy

    A better option for taxi and ride share electric vehicles would be swapping battery packs. Currently that service is available at select global locations including the USA. The battery swap takes less than 10 minutes.

    Reply

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