Two companies – Husky and Fuelmatics – have built a robot that automatically fills your car with fuel, allowing drivers to stay in their warm automotive cocoons longer than ever.
The robot uses a suction cup to pry open your fuel filler cap once it detects a nearby car before inserting one of three nozzles ─ each one offering a different fuel type, presumably. At this point, you specify how much you want to fill up and off it goes until a ‘vacuum-based automatic shut-off’ prevents overfilling.
The sytem only works on vehicles with capless fuel fillers. Anything with a screw-on cap is out of the question. Vehicles with capless fuelling (new Fords, for example) could benefit from filling up as much as 30 per cent faster.
“It goes faster and you don’t have to step out. It’s cleaner… and it more safe if you are [filling up] at night,” Sten Corfitsen of Fuelmatics said in a YouTube video. “There are so many advantages.”
In the demonstration you will notice a touchscreen machine is used to tell the robot what fuel to use and how much to fill up. Seeing as you would have to step out the car to operate it, we’re wondering exactly what you are gaining. Maybe a robot that does the typing is also being worked on?
The robot was demonstrated at the 2013 Petroleum Equipment Institute convention in Atlanta, Georgia. But its makers have issued no word on when (or even if) it could hit forecourts. We’re guessing those who have to endure colder climates are hoping it’ll happen soon, while those who fill up cars for a living aren’t too keen.
Is automated refuelling just what you’ve been waiting for or a step too far for us lazy humans? Let us know while you watch the refuelling robot in action below.