Now you can sit back and watch a robot pump gas into your cars
In an era where technology is taking over all spheres of life, refueling techniques have remained mainly a mechanical process that demands the utmost attention from the user. As a solution to this, Denmark-based Autofuel is offering a robotic refueling system that cuts the need for drivers' attention or direct involvement.
The system is a robotic arm that dispenses fuel from an existing fuel dispenser. The application can also take care of customer identification and payments, making the entire process hands-free. This system offers convenience to users, necessary support to the disabled, and support for future autonomous mobility.
According to the firm, the refueling process has remained unchanged for the past 70 years. "In the same period the technology has developed faster than ever, and today we have fast internet, smartphones, AI assistants, and self-driving cars that will soon be present on the roads," their website says.
Robotic refueling is a growing business and the European market alone is expected to grow to about $50bn by 2028, according to British analysis firm Insight.
A comparatively slow but convenient process
The system requires users to sign up to register the car details such as model, fuel type, payment details, and license plate. These cars will also be required to install a special gas tank cap to facilitate this process.
A screen will display instructions for the driver to park the car in a designated spot for refueling. Once in place, the robotic arm will open the fuel cap and place the dispenser nozzle in the fuel tank. The customer will be kept in the loop regarding the refueling process and will see a message on the screen when the robot has completed the refueling. The driver can leave as soon as the green light is displayed after the robotic arm has closed the fuel door on the car. Meanwhile, the payment gets cleared amid the process.
The system is adaptable to different kinds of energy requirements
The system is also future-ready to deliver alternative fuels like electricity, hydrogen, CNG, and LNG. Since the system is added to an existing fuel dispenser, it is easier for the firm to cater to different energy requirements that may arise in the coming times. Moreover, a customer can always choose between automatic or manual refueling as it is an add-on.
Such a solution will soon become necessary as autonomous cars roll out on public roads. According to the firm, "Autofuel is the ideal solution, keeping them full of energy, without any human action involved."