Maybe the same idea in your garage as used on trains and bumper cars:
Have a metal plate on the floor that is at zero potential (Neutral leg),
which can be contacted from underneath the car and an out-of-reach metal
plate overhead that carries the phase potential, so all the car needs to
do to charge is to raise/lower a wire and contact the plates? Make the
plates appropriately large that any way (forward/backward) or position
in the garage will still allow contacting the plates.
Avoids the issues of positioning and efficiency of wireless charging.
I understand that one electric bus uses an overhead contact to
fast-charge, but that is an outdoor applicatoin road-side, so both wires
are connected using an oversized overhead contact.

Cor van de Water
Chief Scientist
Proxim Wireless Corporation
Email: Private:
Skype: cor_van_de_water Tel: +1 408 383 7626

-----Original Message-----
From: EV [] On Behalf Of Ben Goren via
Sent: Wednesday, August 06, 2014 11:20 AM
To: Robert Bruninga; Electric Vehicle Discussion List
Subject: Re: [EVDL] EVLN: i3 EV self-parks> driver climbs out of window
toprove (video)

On Aug 6, 2014, at 10:02 AM, Robert Bruninga via EV <>

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

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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