As the automotive industry moves toward advanced levels of autonomous functionality, including self-parking capabilities, automakers such as Volkswagen Group and Tier 1 suppliers such as Continental are working to develop solutions that recharge EVs automatically after they are parked.
Continental Engineering Services is working on a fully automatic charging robot with Austrian startup Volterio, which developed the concept.
Aimed for use in private garages, the robots could also be deployed in public areas later, with volume production of the system planned for 2024 in Germany.
The solution is comprised of two components: the connector unit installed in the underbody of the vehicle and autonomous mobile unit on the floor.
After the car is parked, the two components connect automatically via a smart system, which could be controlled via ultra-broadband -- a radio-based communication technology for short-range data transmission.
Thanks to this system, the car does not have to be parked with extreme accuracy—the charging robot can correct from a deviation within 30 cm (12 inches).
Alex Rupprecht, director of driveline and electrification at the unit of German megasupplier Continental, said CES conducted an analysis of different recharging technologies.