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The interdependency of autonomous electric vehicles and wireless charging

Conference presentations at the 4th International Electric Vehicle Expo this week in Jeju, South Korea, explored issues related to automated driving systems, electric vehicles and infrastructure. Specifically, two presentations from KAIST (Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology) and SAE International addressed the interdependence of standardization, autonomous electric vehicles and wireless charging.

The issue with conductive charging is though there are plenty of standards, unfortunately many of these standards are simply not compatible. This incompatibility hurts not only the infrastructure, but also the commercialization of the electric vehicle as the customer does not accept not being able to go to a specific charging [spot],” said Dr. Uooyeol Yoon of KAIST.

The customer wants the freedom to know not only where the charging station is located, but expects that he can charge there. How are multiple choices for conductive charging going to work for autonomous vehicles? It’s not.

—Dr. Uooyeol Yoon (ET News)

Dr. Yoon of KAIST, a South Korean public research university, coordinates the standards activities in Korea and is also a researcher in this area with experience in light- and heavy-duty wireless power transfer (WPT). With the harmonization of standardization between ISO, IEC and SAE, wireless charging looks like it will be universally compatible.

SAE International, which is developing the J2954 standard for wireless charging (earlier post), is one of the lead standards organizations; SAE has entered a formal agreement for the first time with ISO and is beginning a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with IEC.

Harmonization is good news for the customer for using wireless charging and for the commercialization of both electric and autonomous vehicles.

—Jesse Schneider, chair of the SAE Wireless Charging Taskforce

Dr. Yoon showed the two different technologies (circular and DD) for wireless power transfer and how the standards allow compatibility between the two. (This was demonstrated in benchtesting at Idaho National Laboratory at the end of last year. Earlier post.)

The standards have found a way for even competing technologies to charge with interoperability, high efficiencies above 90% up to 7.7kW.

—Dr. Yoon

Dr. Yoon insisted it is important for the groups to work together to avoid the current situation of dissimilar systems in conductive charging. In his presentation on future charging options, he also discussed research underway at KAIST on 22kW static wireless charging.

Though is not widely known, that there is an interdependence between wireless charging and autonomous vehicles. For light duty vehicles, under all-weather conditions, the only reliable way to automatically charge autonomous electric vehicles is with wireless charging. The standardization of WPT in SAE J2954, coupled with communications, automates the charging process and helps the vehicle “fine tune” the parking alignment.

—Jesse Schneider (ET News)

It is difficult for drivers and autonomous vehicles alike to know the correct parking space location for wireless charging when there is snow covering a parking lot. SAE J2954 specifies a common alignment method for the ground assembly to assist in parking even under all weather conditions using a method of magnetic triangulation.

SAE J2954 is to be tested in the next two years by vehicle automakers to be standardized at the end of 2018. This standardization milestone was given by the industry to enable the commercialization of WPT up to 11 kW by the 2020 timeframe to assist both EVs and autonomous vehicles.

Comments

SJC

We need ONE wireless standard, then autonomous cars can charge themselves.

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