General Question

elbanditoroso's avatar

We will soon have self driving cars. When can we have self-fueling vehicles?

Asked by elbanditoroso (33307points) March 14th, 2016

I keep thinking that a more valuable invention than self-driving cars would be self-fueling vehicles.

What’s standing in the way of car manufacturers having RFID-based (or other) detectors that can figure out where the gas input is on your car, electronically open the aperture, and mechanically move the hose to fill the tank?

It wouldn’t be all that hard to build in electronic vapor recovery apparatus, and the robotic activity of moving and placing a nozzle can’t be any more difficult than the work robots do on an assembly line.

Auto-filling of gas tanks – that’s something tht everyone could make use of today.

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15 Answers

ucme's avatar

You already do, it’s called the republican party, chock full of gas.

ibstubro's avatar

One major obstacle that immediately comes to mind is getting auto manufacturers to standardize placement of the fuel aperture. There’s no consensus on even driver or passenger side.

The closest thing I can imagine at the moment is an automatic car wash, where a framework surrounds your vehicle that allows nozzles to encircle it. Cumbersome, to say the least, and they seem very fragile to have 100’s-1,000’s of uses per day.

Self fueling is a good idea, IMO. However, like many good ideas, while the technology may be there, the benefits don’t support the cost of the re-tooling.

I think self fueling electric cars are nearer to a reality.

Strauss's avatar

I think the closest to a self-fueling vehicle would be an electric or hybrid vehicle which has some type of energy capture system on board, e.g., solar panels or wind turbines.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

I believe we will be using wireless inductive charging of electric vehicles, with the strong possibility of solar powered roads.

Some of my favorite installations that my company has been doing lately is solar PV and an EV charging station in homes. While not self fueling, I still love the idea that the cars are running on sunshine.

Zaku's avatar

To me, that sounds only slightly less dangerous than self-driving cars, and much less useful.

The danger being that you really don’t want gasoline spills, and humans seem very well equipped to do a good job of that. If it’s a problem for some people, maybe we should just have more human attendants to help.

Coloma's avatar

Self fueling would be great, but I would never trust a car to drive itself, never, fucking never!
I gotta be in control. lol

Vincentt's avatar

@ucme I ate a lot of beans tonight. Am I a Republican now?

Coloma's avatar

@Vincentt Yep, you’re a blowhard now. lol

SquirrelEStuff's avatar

That thing is freaky!!!

There is a company that makes inductive charging for EVs already, although it doesn’t work when driving.

ucme's avatar

@Vincentt You certainly sound like one

elbanditoroso's avatar

@johnpowell cool, but not for the masses. Teslas – as great as they are – aren’t mass market and never will be.

I want an robotic gasoline fueler so that my grandma doesn’t need to fill her tank by herself.

SquirrelEStuff's avatar


What makes you say that about Tesla? They will be coming out with the Model 3 next year. The car will cost $35,000 before incentives. It will likely get around 200 miles on a single charge and will likely push them towards becoming main stream. At the least, they are forcing existing car manufacturers to begin evolving towards EV’s. Pretty much every manufacturer will be producing several EV’s over the next 5–10 years, and may be almost completely electric by the tenth year. has a map of all of their public and private EV charging stations.
There is already plenty of infrastructure in place to currently charge EV’s , but most aren’t aware of it because they aren’t looking for them. The GPS on EVs show charging stations.

johnpowell's avatar

@elbanditoroso :: Have her move to Oregon. We aren’t legally allowed to pump our own gas here.

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