So heres a scenario. Youre in your electric car in the future, rushing from Austin to San Antonio for an important meeting, and you realize your Teslas running out of juice. Do you pull over and wait for it to charge at some middle-of-nowhere station and lose valuable time in the process?
Of course not! Youre from the future, silly. You just contact Amazon, which then sends out a drone that lands on your car and starts charging it while youre still barreling down Interstate 35.
Yes, this is still TechRadar: you didnt accidentally click over to SyFy. But as implausible as this scenario sounds with current technology, the oddball idea at its heart is the subject of an actual patent that was recently granted to Amazon.
Its patent number 9,778,653, and its called “Systems, devices and methods delivering energy using an uncrewed autonomous vehicle.”
As described in the patent, after you call it in, the drone shows up at a specified rendezvous point and finds your car by identifying some kind of marker on top. It then lands and does its thing.
The patent comes with multiple illustrations showing how this might work, with some depicting docking stations that retract or leave permanent clamps on the tops of cars.
Its worth noting that even if the logistics were somehow realistic with current technology, you still wouldnt get much out of a charge. The technology just isnt there yet.
But, even a boost of 10 extra miles might be helpful, particularly if youve been stuck in a traffic jam thats been using your battery less efficiently than you might wish.
For that matter, were talking about current electric cars. Amazon first applied for the patent back in 2014, which essentially feels like eons in the past in terms of electric vehicle development.
Who knows, though? It wasnt too long ago that many of us who couldnt imagine toting entire computers around in our jeans pockets. As always with patents, though, keep in mind we may never see anything like this in the real world.
As far as we know, Amazon has no plans to make electric cars itself.
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