First Systems From NXP-Easelink Now in Operation for Automated Charging

The Austria-based high-tech company Easelink and the Dutch semiconductor manufacturer NXP Semiconductors  have jointly developed a positioning system for automated charging based on UWB technology. 
First Systems From NXP-Easelink Now in Operation for Automated Charging
Photo Courtesy of Easelink

This system is comparable to a particularly safe, precise, and efficient parking assistance feature, which helps bring the electric car into the perfect position for fully automated charging using Matrix Charging®. The technology is already in successful use on a daily basis in the world’s largest project for automated charging of e-taxis in public spaces.

Details of the joint development

The UWB technology used in the positioning system from NXP and Easelink is already familiar from applications such as digital car keys in selected car models and smartphones. UWB is a wireless technology that securely, precisely, and efficiently estimates the relative positions of two electronic devices. It is particularly suitable for assistance functions such as parking, which is why it has now been integrated into the two Matrix Charging components (connector on the vehicle underbody and charging pad in the parking space) for precise positioning.

During automated charging with Matrix Charging, the connector is lowered from the vehicle underbody near the front axle onto the charging pad on the ground. While approaching the charging pad on the ground, the position is shown on a display in the vehicle to assist the driver. This display receives the signals via the UWB modules installed in the Matrix Charging system and shows the driver the optimal parking and charging position.

With UWB modules built into both the vehicle-side connector and the charging pad in the parking space, the distance between the two is measured in real time using time of flight measurements. The exact charging position is shown to the driver on a display inside the vehicle, and the charging process starts immediately after confirmation by clicking on the charging symbol.

"With NXP, we have an established partner at our side whose secure communication technologies are already used worldwide in the mobility sector. We are delighted that this know-how and the equally established UWB technology are now also being used for the application of fully automated charging of electric cars with Matrix Charging," said Gregor Eckhard, COO of Easelink.

Joint development for e-taxis in real operation

To lower emissions and further improve quality of life in the city, Vienna and Graz will be increasingly shifting to e-taxis. As part of the eTaxi Austria project, the world’s largest project for automated charging of e-taxis, Matrix Charging Pads were installed directly at the taxi stands. Thanks to this automated charging the e-taxis are charged automatically, without the need to leave the vehicle or make an extra trip to a charging point.

The jointly developed UWB-based positioning system from NXP and Easelink is already in use here. The eTaxi Austria project will eventually see 60 e-taxis of models Hyundai Ioniq 5 and VW ID.4 equipped with Matrix Charging in real-life operation, with access to 60 Matrix Charging pads across eight locations in Vienna and two locations in Graz. The first locations to go into operation in autumn of 2023 included Vorgartenstraße in Vienna and Schillerplatz in Graz. The project will run until March 2025.

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