As Google's self-driving cars continue to make progress and move to more locations for testing, it appears the company is now making plans on how to better charge the small pod cars. A FCC filing discovered by IEEE Spectrum indicated that Google is looking into wireless charging as an option, with plans to install system around its headquarters, as well as the former Air Force base that serves as the self-driving testing grounds.
The filing with the FCC shows that Google is going with resonant magnetic induction as the wireless charging method, and is working with the companies Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics on its installations. The charging system relies on plates that are embedded in the road, transferring power to receivers connected the bottom of cars. As vehicles park overtop, or drive over a sequence of the plates, they can gradually top up their batteries.
Hevo Power and Momentum Dynamics received permission from the FCC early last year, and it's believed they installed their charging system in July at several addresses associated with Google.
While wireless charging for cars is something that's currently aimed for use at home or workplaces, where cars will remain parked for a good amount of time, it's believed that the technology could one day make its way into public roads, creating a network of wireless chargers for cars to drive over. In the meantime, it will at least streamline Google's testing process, saving time on always having to keep the cars plugged in.
SOURCE IEEE Spectrum