► Charging EVs without wires or drivers
► Could be shown at this month's CES 2019
► Solution may be just six years away
Hyundai and Kia have revealed a new concept which could make owning an electric car in the future even easier. Called the Automated Valet Parking System, or AVPS for short, the new concept combines two bits of technology we’re already familiar with; autonomous driving and wireless charging.
The idea is simple, really. Hyundai and Kia say users would be able to command their cars to go to wireless charging stations of their own accord - and to reduce overcrowding, fully-charged cars would automatically move to a vacant parking space once they're topped up.
When the driver wants their car back, a simple request will have their vehicle autonomously return. You can watch it in action in the video at the bottom of the page.
How does wireless car charging work?
As you’d expect, the system would rely heavily on cloud connectivity and data sharing - linking the parking facility, charging system and driver with a constant connection to each other. Sounds great, but without a solid data connection and location data, it could all become unstuck very quickly.
Is it actually going to come out?
Probably. Hyundai and Kia say they’re looking to commercialise the tech after they launch level 4 autonomous vehicles in 2025 – but the main reason this may work is because the underlying technology already exists. Yes, we’re a little while from level 4 autonomous tech – mainly the legal arguments – but wireless charging is already here and being offered on selected BMWs, with Audi doing the same very soon.
The only other loose ends? Connected parking and charging facilities along with a reliable data connection between every component. The former is possible with charging infrastructure being advanced all the time, and 4G tends to be good enough for the latter.
We'll update this article when we know more about Hyundai and Kia's AVPS system.
What are the levels of autonomous tech?