On Aug 6, 2014, at 10:02 AM, Robert Bruninga via EV <ev@lists.evdl.org> wrote:

>> expecting the car to plug itself into a wall outlet / cable is asking a
>> bit much.
> Actually If I had the time (after I retire maybe) I can easily imagin a
> robot arm on the garage wall that can reach out, find and connect to some
> contacts mounted somehow on the front license plate area.

That's a lot of moving parts to break, especially considering how many people 
have trouble not running over things in the garage already. Plus the hazard of 
people or pets or other things getting caught up in the mechanism.

Still, what's important for autonomous vehicles is some form of autonomous 
charge connection, whatever that form might take. If a mechanical coupling 
works, fantastic.

For personal EVs, it's not an issue; it's really not that big a deal to grab 
the charger off the wall and stick it in the car. But, once we get into the 
realm of autonomous vehicles, and especially any sort of application in which 
the general public is going to be "operating" the vehicles, the car needs to be 
able to charge itself as well as it can drive and park itself.

A pseudo-taxi that could drive itself to a charging station and then drive away 
when its battery is full would make lots of sense. The same pseudo-taxi that 
needed an human to stand around waiting for the pseudo-taxi to arrive to 
connect the charger, and then be there to disconnect the charger when the 
pseudo-taxi is charged...that's gonna be a non-starter.

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