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Imagine the Future EV Charging

Imagine driving up to a charging station in your EV and just sitting back in your vehicle while a robot arm connects you to a charging station without you having to get out. Sound like something out of the future? Well, if you’ve purchased an EV from a Hyundai dealer, it just may become a reality.

What Is the Automatic Charging Robot?

Hyundai is the latest automaker to come up with a way to make it easier for EV drivers to charge up. They call it ACR or Automatic Charging Robot, and Hyundai recently released a video to show how it works. All the driver has to do is park their car where it will charge up, or if they have a model that can park itself, park it near the ACR and then tell the system to initialize charging using the key fob. The video that Hyundai released showing the ACR is impressive. The robot has a screen that shows the charging process, and it will even speak to people walking by to warn them if they come too close.

How Does the EV Charging Robot Work?

As long as the car that needs charging has a charging port door that will open without the help of a human, it can work with the ACR. The robot will communicate with the car and open the door, and then use 3D cameras and artificial intelligence to move into position near the car and determine where the charging port is located. It will then reach out and extend the cable to the port to plug it in. When the EV battery is all charged up, the robot arm disconnects from the port and moves away. The system will then communicate with the car to close the port door.

Why Do We Need This?

So, you might be wondering what makes charging an EV more difficult than pumping gas. The reality is that charging cables can be heavy and become thicker and heavier with high-speed charging. Hyundai dealers don’t want anything to stand in the way of customers buying their electric vehicles, especially those with mobility barriers who might not be able to lift or maneuver the cable.

The idea behind the ACR is also to increase safety, particularly for those with mobility difficulty. If a charging station is in an area where the lighting is dim, drivers can stay in their car where they are safe and still get charged up. It also increases convenience because many charging stations are open to the elements, where gas pumps are under cover.

EV Drivers Want to Know: Is This Really Going to Happen?

For right now, the ACR is a fun toy that shows what the future can bring. It’s on display at the 2023 Seoul Mobility Show, but Hyundai predicts that robots to help with charging their EVs and EVs from other manufacturers are not that far in the distant future. They are continuing to work on and develop the robot and its capabilities.

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