Toyota

Toyota patents tanker trailer for autonomous, ‘on-the-fly’ refueling


File this one to the “we’ll imagine it after we see it” folder. Toyota is seemingly now the proprietor of a patent for an autonomous tanker car that refuels or recharges your automotive “on the fly.” Whereas that conjures pictures of a Boeing KC-135 Stratotanker extending a gasoline growth to an F-16, it is unclear from the submitting whether or not the automobiles can be in movement or parked.

This appears to be a high-level patent, one the place an organization is just staking a declare to an thought somewhat than having a fleshed-out product. Found by The Drive, it reveals a nondescript boxy trailer that comprises the varied sorts of gasoline. It is hooked up to an autonomous automotive that may be summoned by a buyer, who gives the make and mannequin of their automotive and selects completely different octane grades of petrol, diesel, hydrogen, or recharging for EVs. 

The refueling rig would then observe a GPS sign to the shopper’s location, not not like a Lyft or Uber. It may well additionally make a number of stops earlier than returning to its residence base for the trailer to be refilled.

Whereas the patent submitting admits that gasoline stations are frequent, hydrogen and charging stations aren’t, and maybe these cellular refueling rigs are one technique to compensate for the shortage. Or, they can be utilized to rescue drivers who’ve run out of gasoline.

Might one imaginative and prescient of our future see armies of those self-driving tankers patrolling the highways, ready for calls? The utopian state of affairs is introduced again to actuality when the patent additionally calls out provisions for promoting, turning them into roving billboards.

Maybe the strangest side of Toyota’s patent is the drawing depicting how the trailer attaches to the drone automotive, which seems to be none aside from a Honda Civic. Particularly, it appears to be like like sixth-generation Civic sedan, bought within the U.S. from 1997-2000. With quite a few Corollas and Camrys to reference, it is a peculiar selection. Or, possibly it is a nod to Honda being the primary to Stage three autonomy.

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