Today the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office officially granted Apple a patent that relates to a charging station for an electric vehicle that provides an automated process for consumer convenience.
Apple notes that exiting a vehicle to connect the vehicle to a charging station may be inconvenient for the operator of the vehicle. In addition, electric vehicle charging stations that require manual connection of the vehicle to the charging station do not permit charging to be performed when no human operator is present. The systems and methods described in the patent allow an electric vehicle to connect to a charging station without manual connection by an operator.
As an example, a charging station may include a charging plug that is mounted using one or more passive translation stages that change position upon contact with a structure that is formed on the vehicle. The vehicle-side structures, including a charging receptacle, are aligned with the charging plug by driving the vehicle, either under manual control or under autonomous control.
Apple's patent FIG. 1A below is an illustration showing a charging station and a vehicle in a disconnected position; FIG. 1B is an illustration showing the charging station and the vehicle in a connected position; FIG. 10 is a block diagram that shows charging station components and vehicle charging system components.
For more details, review Apple's granted patent 11,325,491. This is Apple's second granted patent for this invention. Apple added 20 new patent claims to better protect this invention.
Patently Apple has covered 124 Project Titan patents to date covering future features and systems relating to electric, autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.