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USU unveils nation's first self-driving, wireless charging bus

USU unveils nation's first self-driving, wireless charging bus (Photo: KUTV)

(KUTV) Utah State University unveiled the country's first fully electric, self-driving, wireless charging vehicle. Engineers from institutions around the nation collaborated on the technology. Tuesday, dozens of them gathered in Logan to see their work in action.


"This is the first demonstration of it being powered on an electrified roadway," said Utah State University's electrical engineering professor, Regan Zane.

Zane said electric vehicles can greatly reduce pollution. Vehicle emissions are responsible for more than half of air pollution.

"There's a big opportunity to reduce emissions, the overall pollution in the air, as well as reducing the cost of transportation."

Scientists and engineers hope to see the technology revealed Tuesday eventually implemented nationwide.

"Hopefully within the next 30 years we see a roadway and an electrical system where people can drive without range anxiety and just wirelessly charge," said Steve Pekarek, an engineer at Purdue University.

With millions of dollars in state and federal grants, the State of Utah has been on the forefront of developing electric vehicle technology.

Over the last year, engineers at the Utah State University have developed one of the first mobile charging units. Compatible electric vehicles charge as they drive over coils embedded within the roadway.

Zane said the technology has been presented to Salt Lake City and they could be looking into eventually implementing the mobile charging system.

"The concept of having a vehicle that can go from SLC to L.A. without charging requirements. That's really one of our cores here at Utah State," said Zane.

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