See Nissan's Wireless Charging With Automatic Parking Location (Video)

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Nissan Leaf with automatic parking location to position over a wireless charging pad, Oppama, Japan

Nissan Leaf with automatic parking location to position over a wireless charging pad, Oppama, Japan

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Right now, all plug-in electric cars are recharged using a cable that connects the car through a charging device to electric current of various types.

But if Nissan has its way, that will change in a couple of years.

The company has said it expects to offer a wireless charging system as an accessory for the 2015 Infiniti LE four-door luxury electric car that it will launch in about 18 months.

And it will combine that system with an automatic parking location system that lets the car position itself precisely over the charging pad, freeing the owner of the fine adjustment necessary to do so.

We were able to watch a prototype of the automatic parking location system in action during a visit to the Nissan GranDrive demonstration facility in Oppama, Japan, about 10 days ago.

Installed in a Nissan Leaf electric car--whose basic platform the Infiniti LE will share--the system requires the driver to drive the car along a path perpendicular to the charging pad.

The driver stops when the car's center (shown as a green projecting line on the in-dash display) is located precisely over the pad.

Once the driver hits the button, the system takes over, steering the car in the first half of a Y-turn while the driver accelerates until the car tells him to stop.

Then the driver puts the car in reverse, the car steers itself backward on the other leg of the Y, and tells the driver to press the brake pedal when it is positioned exactly over the pad.

The system, according to Nissan engineers, uses visual identification via the company's "AroundView" camera and sensor technology to identify and locate the charging pad.

The 2015 Infiniti LE is expected to go into production late next at Nissan's Smyrna, Tennessee, assembly plant. It will join the 2013 Nissan Leaf cars that will start rolling off that line in January.

Your can watch the system demonstrated in the video above.


Nissan provided airfare, lodging, and meals to enable High Gear Media to bring you this first-hand report.


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Comments (12)
  1. It seems like a lot of extra technology just to replace the simple action of plugging-in. Given the recent reports of overweight drivers effecting the efficiency of their cars you'd think we would want to increase physical activities instead of finding ways of decreasing them. Plugging-in isn't hard.

  2. By the looks of it this cumbersome procedure certainly isn't going to save you any time compared to plugging-in.

  3. Very ingenious. Of course a simple dent in the road at a precisely determined position relative to the induction coil one could steer the left front wheel in would probably have been as effective and maybe less of a hassle to use but it wouldn't quite have the same gadget factor.

  4. How many kWatts of power can the wireless charging system provide? i.e. What is anticipated time for charging wirelessly?

    Wondering if wireless charging is targeted more for overnight use at home, or for comercial quick charge applications.

  5. Good point, I wonder where the limits of inductive charging are myself and if it is the better option when charger output needs to grow to 200KW+ to accommodate ever bigger and ever faster charging batteries.

  6. Well, there are technically "no limit" on that. If high power transformer can work, then "inductive" or "wireless" charging will work. It is just a matter of efficiency and "interference"...

    I certainly think the point of "charging" EVs are all about efficiency...

  7. If you remain inside while charging you will come out "radiating" with energy

  8. Looks okay..

    I am NOT impressed with it. It is more hassle. I could have parked it much quicker if I did myself.

    Now, I am completely against "wireless" charging system. If driving EV is all about efficiency, then why waste another 10-15% (on a good design) in energy loss just for what? being lazy? 10 secs of Plugging in?

    If they want to make it easier, then instead of "wireless", they should do it with an automatic power rail that come out of ground and "plug" in the car from underneath and robotically...

  9. It was slow, slow enough to annoy other drivers and only because it has to be very close to the correct spot. It took long enough that you could get ICEd just as you go to shift it into reverse.

  10. I think wireless charging would be rather nice, not having a garage, if everything was weatherproof one could save getting even wetter when it rains. By the way, why did I expect my EV (a Leaf) to have a retractable power cord like my vacuum for opportunity charging, instead of this great lump and plug setup?

  11. I think wireless charging is a must for opportunistic charging at shops and theaters, etc. Vandalism and punks unplugging your car are the concerns, not the difficulty of the driver plugging in his car. But what I am hearing with this system seems cumbersome to get parked correctly. That will fail, as anyone looking at how people park in a typical parking lot can easily see. People are largely brutes who can barely manage to get food in their mouths without a guide. OK, just kidding so hold the flames. :)

  12. I agree with most of the posts here. Too complicated and slow. However, plugging in has it's problems too (malicious unplugging at public lots, etc.) But much easier than all this steering bs, is simply a raised concrete hump with sloping sides that automatically helps you center it left/right, and then a tone that tells you optimum front/back. Also, that way, it's coil is raised up closer to yours for better inductance.

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