Google’s experiment with their self-driving car has certainly come a long way from being made legal in California a few years back, and it seems that the tech giant wants their autonomous vehicles (which have already been tested in Kirkland and Austin) to live an untethered life, too, as there are plans to include wireless charging capability for their self-driving vehicles. IEEE Spectrum has apparently stumbled upon not one, but a couple of FCC filings concerning Google’s entrance into resonant magnetic induction, which could spell the beginning of such an idea for their self-driving cars.
Such a form of wireless charging might make use of manhole-style transmitters that are embedded in the pavement so that compatible vehicles will be able to be charged. Documents which Google filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) pointed out to the groundwork laid with their partnership alongside Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics, as these companies were given the go ahead to install experimental chargers at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California, not to mention at its Castle facility that is close by – the one venue used to test its autonomous four-wheelers.
I suppose the end game would be to have these self-driving cars remain above a charging pad for a few minutes to gain some juice, and if they were to pass through a series of transmitters along the way, then the car would be constantly charged. The logistics in involved would be rather huge to say the least, and it is also no guarantee that accidents won’t happen.