How will autonomous trucks charge?

Electrification is likely to go hand in hand with automation, but there will be no driver to plug in. By Megan Lampinen

Freight movement is heading towards a cleaner, more efficient future. In some cases, that will entail both autonomous driving and electric propulsion. In theory that could mean trucks with zero tailpipe emissions running nearly non-stop to deliver goods around the world. But those vehicles are going to need to charge at some point. With no human driver ready to jump out of the cab and plug in, how will that happen?

It could entail some form of charging robot, such as the one under development at Graz University of Technology. Or it could be that the fleet pulls up over a charging pad and wirelessly receives the electricity it needs. These applications, however, may be some time out. Already in place today is a relatively straightforward approach that ChargePoint is bringing to early adaptors of autonomous electric trucks.

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