With the advancement of autonomous cars, many things at the surface level need to be changed and many sectors will get affected too. Autonomous cars are surely here to change how the world travels! This is no easy way, but that is how everything will take a turn. Normally, cars that we drive are petrol/diesel efficient. For re-fueling of cars, we stop by at nearest petrol pump or fuel station to fill in gas or petrol. But what about when autonomous cars will take over?
The reports have been covered and as Shell’s Head of Business development Mr. Stuart Blyde quotes “I think there’s going to be this different animal of what a station will be in the future and how it serves people”.
According to the surveys carried out and interviews by various automobile industries there will be an absolute ban on petrol pumps and fuel stations by 2040 in France. And according to Volvo this will happen as soon as in 2019. Then we will not encounter petrol/fuel stations but instead electrical charging stations. Electric cars, tested from all brands have a maximum range of running of 200 miles. But if a person wishes to travel more than that, charging is needed and these stations will be helpful.
But it isn’t as simple as it sounds. A lot of infrastructure needs to be changed. Now the stations will face a difference digitally and in energy aspects, but the stations have to provide a bigger base of either providing products, food or customer activities. Charging of cars will require a lot of time. People will need activities or stores to pass their time until the car gets charged. A lot needs to be brought up to support electric cars.
“I was stuck in one of the stations when my car prompted that I need to charge it. But whichever station I would go I wouldn’t find the exact charging point that would charge my car. This was during one of the tests that we were carrying out. Some were out of service or some didn’t have the facility.” said by one of the automobile company’s official. These problems have to be taken care of. There are various charging providers or brands that use different sockets and connections. Ford and Sullivan, termed as the Industry Analysts have provided reports that maximum charging will be carried out at homes, almost 75% of it and Chris, carbon commentator has quoted the same figure to be 90%. People who plan for faster charging and not long range charging are reportedly more.
But still stations will be needed, for people traveling more than the maximum charging range. There are so many chances when we can see fleet of autonomous cars traveling just by the use of a smartphones owned by companies like Uber and Amazon and we are mere travelers. Companies like Shell already provided the facility of paying for the petrol bills by their smartphones. Now, with the commencement of electric cars we need to improve our stations too, make them more advanced. Like if cars under Uber, have to be charged then they can choose a time where the probability of a ride is least like 4-5 am. No parking slots required, just keep moving. When a car is driver-less and has no one inside to assist with driving then the same should be adapted for charging stations. A system should be made where induction charging is provided, cars come and start getting charged.
According to Blyde, the system won’t require a lot of charging points but only optimization. Keep a track of which car gets charged up in what time, and line up the next upcoming car. In this way you are optimizing the process without gaining a lot of space for setting up charging stations.
This will be one hell of technology that will be needed to come into the picture. Will it be easy? No, surely. Setting up an entire infrastructure for automatic charging slots and optimizing the slots by applying algorithmic calculations needs time and expertise. Probably, with the introduction of induction charging, we won’t even need big stores or activities to engage customers, the cars will be able to charge themselves.
This is the future of cars, so it will be interesting to see when crossing a street we would find a charging station instead of a petrol pump. Can’t wait to see the future!!