Tesla’s concept for a robot snake charger for self-driving vehicles might still happen, says CEO Elon Musk.
In 2015, Tesla released a video of an automated robot charger that looks like a metal snake.
The idea behind the concept is that Tesla would need to have a way to autonomously charge vehicles without human intervention once it has a fleet of self-driving electric vehicles.
If vehicles are to be operated without drivers, or even passengers at times, it makes sense for Tesla vehicles to be able to charge without having to have someone manually plug the charger into the electric car.
However, Tesla hasn’t started to deploy any automated charging solution, and we haven’t heard anything about the robot snake charger in the past 5 years… until now.
CEO Elon Musk brought it up for the first time in years when asked about long distance “summoning,” which consists of a Tesla vehicle autonomously driving to its owner:
In a follow-up tweet, the CEO confirmed that Tesla still has plans for the robot snake charge concept:
Musk didn’t offer a timeline for Tesla to announce a plan for the charging solution or when it would be deployed.
Tesla’s CEO has been claiming that the automaker will have a fleet of “1 million robotaxis” by the end of the year, but that timeline is becoming unlikely, with only a few months left in the year and Tesla’s Autopilot core rewrite being delayed to December.
We know that Tesla has been exploring other solutions besides the snake charger for automated charging.
In 2017, Tesla applied for a patent on a new design for a charger embedded into the ground and requiring a charge connector at the bottom of the vehicle.
As far as we know, they haven’t implemented that solution either, yet.
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