Ford is developing a robot charging station as a hands-free charging solution for electric and autonomous vehicles.
The hands-free charging solution is especially attractive to disabled electric vehicle drivers who can operate the charging with a smartphone from inside the car or leave the car with the robots to charge up their vehicle.
This post is based on the Next Green Car article, Ford robot charger aims to help disabled EV drivers, by Olly Goodall, July 22, 2022, and the YouTube video in the Spotlight. Image source: Sipa USA/Alamy Stock Photo
1. What is the strategic significance of Ford’s robot charger?
Guidance: Ford’s robot charger will offer a hands-free charging solution for electric vehicles. This feature is especially appealing to disabled electric vehicle drivers who regard ease of charging as a key factor in purchasing an electric car.
The robot charger also will provide fast and efficient charging for autonomous vehicles with minimal or no driver involvement.
The solution provides a potential competitive advantage for charging fleets of cars.
2. Discuss Ford’s robot charger from a product development process perspective.
Guidance: A product development process has eight phases: feasibility analysis, product specification, process specification, prototype development, design review, market test, product introduction, and follow-up evaluation.
Since the robot charger is currently a prototype, this means that Ford completed the first four phases. In other words, the robot charger has been conceived to meet the demand for hands-free, fast, and efficient charging of electric vehicles.
Ford has the process know-how to produce the charger. As a prototype, the charger will undergo the remaining four phases before full production.