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Autonomous Autopilot Capability activation in Charging stations

Autonomous Autopilot Capability activation in Charging stations

Since charging stations are private properties in many places, a showcase demonstration of Autonomous Autopilot feature may be activated i.e. a driver comes to a designated drop off area in the station, activates autopilot charging, exits the car and proceeds for food & refreshment.

The car self drives from the drop off location to the charger, the charger connects to the accurately positioned car (simple extension of charger cable/rod might do, pretty easy with robots managing on ground with stationery objects but like jets for mid flight refuelling), charges and the car then sends a ping to the driver' smartphone informing of charge completion and if the driver chooses to delay the retrieval at the collection point, then the car proceeds to a parking area, to free the charger for the next car.
The driver then comes to the collection point as per his/her convinience and the car then self drives from either the charging station or the parking area to be received by the driver at the collection point.
Its software driven, multi-storied automated parking systems function the same way too, you drive your car to the designated area and the lift then gets the car to the available parking spot, when you return, it retrieves your car, just in Tesla' supercharging stations, it charges the batteries too in addition.

For customers, its like a valet at a 5 star hotel, the valet takes your car when you arrive and drops back when you are ready to leave, it's a luxury feeling, just that in this case, it's a virtual valet.

The value comes to both drivers, the one who arrived first and the follower, both save time, both then invest that time in alternative activities and the system takes care of ancillary activities.
In the future when more cars get on the road, it would become more useful as it saves a customer' time if all existing slots are already full.

If we are already moving towards driverless car, why would we want the car to not have the ability to charge itself as us humans then wasting our time to charge the machines would be an oxymoron. It resolves refining and demonstrating autonomous autopilot capabilities over time, acts as an excellent demonstrator for boosting public confidence, happens in private property to negate regulator concerns, by my reckoning a winner on all counts.

DTsea | 13 novembre 2014

U.mmmm....hard to see how that adds value.

Grinnin'.VA | 13 novembre 2014

I think it would be a nice convenience.
Not "soon", but eventually.

Go Tesla!
Ron :)

Larry@SoCal | 13 novembre 2014

I like it.
Yes, there are more important things to work on, but someday.....
I have not had to confront a crowded Supercharger yet but when it eventually happens it would be great for there to be some system in place to see that we "are answered in the order received."

DTsea | 13 novembre 2014

yeah, robot actuated charging arms? So you dont have to park?

I'd rather the investment go to more superchargers not fancier ones.

DTsea | 13 novembre 2014

plus that is a great opportunity for reliability problems. And when the robot dents your car (misses)... whose insurance pays? When the car bumps something parking itself at the SC site who is liable? You? Tesla? The property owner?

Never going to happen.

spacevertex | 13 novembre 2014

For customers, its like a valet at a 5 star hotel, the valet takes your car when you arrive and drops back when you are ready to leave, it's a luxury feeling, just that in this case, it's a virtual valet.
The tech is already there, there are no additional investments to be made, just a software update and placement of a signage for drop off and collection areas.
In the future when more cars get on the road, it would become more useful as it saves a customer' time if all existing slots are already full.
For insurance concerns, i guess, tesla robots are smart enough already.

DTsea | 13 novembre 2014

If I owned a supercharger site there would be a big "NO ROBOT PARKING" sign.

DTsea | 13 novembre 2014

But I hate valet parking too. To me it's not luxury.... I hate giving my car to a stranger and the obligation to tip for a service I don't even want.

spacevertex | 13 novembre 2014

Lol, you don't have to give your car to a stranger, its software driven, multi-storied automated parking systems function the same way too, you drive your car to the designated area and the lift then gets the car to the available parking spot, when you return, it retrieves your car, just in Tesla' supercharging stations, it charges the batteries too in addition.

Anemometer | 13 novembre 2014

The value comes from someone else being able to use the supercharger if you go off shopping for four hours, or to work. Or a day trip from an airport to somewhere else. You only need 40 minutes. As soon as charge is complete your car can disengage and free it up from another car waiting.

Or you could just employ a bunch of people... sometimes it's the easier option. I worked for one of the big record companies back in the 1990s. One of them was proud of their new fully automated robotic warehouse. However the company I worked for used people and distribution costs were half.

spacevertex | 13 novembre 2014

The whole point of Automation or in this case Autopilot is that eventually we get humans away from the non essential repetitive tasks.
The value comes to both drivers, the one who arrived first and the follower, both save time, both then invest that time in alternative activities and the system takes care of ancillary activities.

As i mentioned earlier that is is a precursor to full autonomous driving and such small attempts and demonstrations shall refine future tech.

JeffreyR | 14 novembre 2014

Could this work w/o auto-plugging SC? You park in the queue, and when the "current" car is done it honks and flashes its lights and charge port changes colors. The "current" owner is notified. A human unplugs the "current" car. It moves to the done-and-waiting area, and the next car moves into place. Then a human plugs it in.

That human could be a paid attendant in a fancy mall or just done by the honor system. So if you are in a hurry and no attendant is available you can wait for the "current" car to finish, unplug it, and plug yours in. A car will not leave the SC until it reaches its minimum charge set by the owner so unplugging someone "early" would not help the impatient/dishonest.

The queue could be displayed on the main screen so you would know before you arrive what the approximate wait time is, and your projected place in the queue.

You could paint the parking lot (like for handicap parking) to show where the queue/waiting area is so people would know that autopilot cars will be moving in that area.

Since not everyone has or wants to use autopilot you would allow them to join the queue and notify them when it's their turn. If they fail to move w/in N minutes (maybe 5) the next car is notified/moved.

Red Sage ca us | 14 novembre 2014

JeffreyR: Good idea, but it would require side mounted, drive through Supercharger stations to operate properly, automated, autonomous, or otherwise.

mgnea

spacevertex | 14 novembre 2014

Having human intervention in such autonomous parking shall defeat the core principle for its existance.

Say for e.g., Apple Pay, you just flash your phone to the NFC reader and the system takes over, similarly, a good system would be like a virtual valet, the driver comes to the designated drop off area, activates Autonomous Charging and departs, the system then takes over.

If we are already moving towards driverless car, why would we want the car to not have the ability to charge itself as us humans then wasting our time to charge the machines would be an oxymoron.

JeffreyR | 14 novembre 2014

@Red Sage

Thanks. I was thinking that the "queue" would be virtual not literal. So the whole area between the SC and several waiting/queue parking spots would be painted. The waiting cars could be anywhere on the private property. But I think in practical terms they would need to be on or near the same row. One "jerk move" you would/could need to validate against is blocking an incoming car to jump the line. Theoretically the software could prevent such a "person" from being able to charge.

@SpaceVertex

My thinking is that the queuing software would be straight-forward to design and implement. The Autopilot already works well enough for the demo. The only thing needed is connectivity on the Supercharger to enforce some rules (maybe). But a fully automated snake-like charging connector is not at all easy or simple. Basically I would say that Tesla should start developing the queuing service already even w/o Autopilot. Don't let perfect get in the way of good enough.

At some point I think they should have robots that connect and charge. But, while we are waiting for those lets deal w/ the task at hand; namely making congested Superchargers more predictable and efficient to use.

</J>

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JeffreyR | 14 novembre 2014

It only takes one Tesla driver to be there for a bunch of cars to get unplugged and plugged in. All Tesla drivers are level-headed, effective people who like helping their fellow Grinners. I don't see someone walking down a row of 10 cars, but 3 or 4 seems pretty easy especially when they are parked right next to you.

My optimism may be showing again, but informed self-interest would at least take care of the one car that is done charging and blocking your spot. With Autopilot that's one less spot being blocked by a fully charged car. And I think that people might surprise you. Especially if they are still grinning from the memory of the drive.

DTsea | 16 novembre 2014

Of course the car has to be unlocked so you have to give the guy your key.... that's why a lot of hpwcs at hotels are valet parking.

Not for me, thanks.

The first time an auto parking car bumps someone in a privately owned but open to the public location, the lawyers will have a bloodbath.

spacevertex | 16 novembre 2014

@JerrreyR @DTesa
Systems making decisions with the assistance of software & sensors negates the risk.

Näky | 16 novembre 2014

Thought scenario.
Part of SC area lot is designated for autonomous charging. Local supervisor software keeps track of Teslas in vicinity and need for charge. Person arrives and leaves Tesla to "drop in" area. Car announce to local network its arrival, local software informs free SC slot or parking area. Car navigates to spot announced, by it self, security reasons local software only give information no guidance(no taking of control). When charging slot is free cars are shuffled and charging cord is automatically connected. When charging is completed and spot needed by other Tesla local soft informs next free parking slot. When ready to leave owner summons his/hers Tesla to exit/load in area.

Depending on use rate statistics number of parking spots are designated for waiting and charged cars.
In few years distant parts of shopping centers parking lots might be reserved for cars with autonomous parking. Drop out at door and car parks itself, maybe with help of some local free spot controlling system. When ready just summon car to specified spot.

I'm sorry for my bad English. School system tried to teach me Swedish as primary foreign language, that failed miserably.

carlgo | 16 novembre 2014

I think this is an excellent idea, for the reasons mentioned. Add the ability for really fast chargers. These would require thick and heavy cables that many people could not wrestle around. If the car was positioned precisely, a robotic arm could more easily handle the plug-in process.

Automatic charging would be kool in any event.

It could also position cars perfectly at swappers, which would probably allow for simpler mechanisms.

spacevertex | 21 novembre 2014

Updated

SamO | 21 novembre 2014

Elon Musk announced an articulating snake [SUPER]charging cable that would plug itself into the car, at the "D" Event.

“You can step out of the car and have it park itself in the garage [OR SUPERCHARGER],” Musk said. “Later, you will be able to summon the car. It will come to wherever you are. There’s also something else I would like to do. Many of our engineers will be hearing this in real time. I would like the [SUPER]charge connector to plug itself into the car, sort of like an articulating snake. I think we will probably do something like that.”

http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2014-10-10/tesla-debuts-the-d-a-nig...

[added]

Since this feature will initially only be legal on private property, don't be confused. You'll be able to do drop-off and pickup on your own private property, but ALSO on the private property of others, like shopping malls, theme parks, sports venues, golf courses and hotels with widespread parking.

Brian H | 21 novembre 2014

That announced probable R&D for a 'snake', not that it exists.

Juggernaut | 21 novembre 2014

That's very imaginative and self serving and not so likely. All I've heard and all that's likely to happen from autopilot is the ability to get on the interstate, set it, and take over again on the off-ramp. Why is that not good enough? Folks know me in the neighborhood. Will I be able to send out the car for daily groceries? Pick me up at the bar? Casino? Run to a supercharger and charge itself and be back in time for me to finish the rock concert and avoid traffic?

Can we be serious?

Cruise control. Text. Play angry birds. Lonely highways, interstates. Brought back to attention by road kill or skinned tractor trailer tire. That sounds cool enough for now. Let's see that implemented before the car picks up dates and groceries and goes to charge itself. Should be thrilling enough to start out trusting the car to hang a curve doing 45 mph.

Warm regards, Scott Flowers

Brian H | 22 novembre 2014

Indeed, full autonomous driving is exponentially harder, and not in Tesla's immediate plans. Lots of others working in that area, but Google etc. are trying to "shoot the moon" all in one go.