Published October 28, 2013
Face it, American driver, you will soon be obsolete.
As the advent of autonomous cars approaches so comes the robot gas station attendant.
Working in conjunction with Sweden’s Fuelmatics, industrial fueling products giant Husky Corporation has developed an automatic refueling system that could redefine the term “self serve” and send the last of the gas jockeys to the unemployment line.
The robotic pump uses cameras to locate the fuel door on the vehicle, which it opens with a suction cup, and guide the nozzle into the hole.
A magnetic reed switch then interacts with a special capless fuel filler installed on the car to determine when it has been inserted far enough to begin fueling.
The pump begins positioning itself as soon as the customer starts entering their payment information into the system, saving time in the refueling process.
Similar devices have been tested over the years, but the electronics weren’t quite ready for prime time.
Husky expects this one to enter commercial operation within six months, and be particularly popular in bad weather markets, although launch locations have not yet been announced.
Wherever it ends up, customers interested in using it will need to buy one of the fillers for about $5.00 to make their car compatible with the system.
Husky says its tests show that 90-95 percent of the cars on the road should work with it, save for those with fuel doors in odd locations like behind the license plate or the nearly horizontal type found on cars like the Lamborghini Aventador.
Owners of such cars will just have to pay someone to get out and do it for them the old fashioned way.
Stinks to be them.