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This article was published on February 5, 2016

Google filings suggest it wants its self-driving cars to charge wirelessly

Google filings suggest it wants its self-driving cars to charge wirelessly
Bryan Clark
Story by

Bryan Clark

Former Managing Editor, TNW

Bryan is a freelance journalist. Bryan is a freelance journalist.

According to documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) — and found by IEEE Spectrum — Google is looking to cut the cord on its self-driving car, the power cord, that is.

In February of last year, HevoPower, a New York-based start-up received permission from the FCC to install its experimental charger at Google’s headquarters in Mountain View, California. In July, Momentum Dynamics, followed suit by installing its own charger at an address believed to associated with Google’s ultra-secretive, “X” division — which is currently working on the autonomous car.

The filings detail Google’s testing of two wireless charging systems that would essentially beam power to the underside of an electric vehicle from an embedded transmitter that looks a lot like a manhole cover.

The science isn’t at all dissimilar to that of wireless charging matts that you’d use to charge your mobile device, just on a much larger scale.

Currently, the technology would just provide freedom from plugging your car in at night, but the future could feature embedded chargers that keep your car juiced as it drives.

Google Wants Its Driverless Cars to Be Wireless Too [Spectrum via The Verge]