Google's Self-Driving Car Just Got a Whole Lot More Futuristic

The self-driving car is the future of personal transportation. Wireless charging is the future of battery-powered devices. Marrying the two technologies makes sense.

Wireless charging is the future of electric vehicles, according to Mark Harris of IEEE Spectrum, and Google's self-driving car could soon he leading the charge.

This makes sense because the self-driving car is the future of personal transportation.

Leaked documents from the FCC indicate that Google is experimenting with wireless charging systems designed by East Coast startups HEVO Power and Momentum Dynamics. Rather than transferring power via cord and plug, wireless charging relies upon magnetic induction via embedded plates on the ground interacting with receivers on a vehicle's underside. Power is beamed from one point to the other. 

This is not at all dissimilar to how wireless phone charging works. One day we're all going to look back on the '00s and '10s and wonder how we ever lived without wireless charging, just as we look back now and wonder how anyone ever lived without the Internet. 

As for the self-driving car itself, Google has spent years testing several prototypes. In that time, the company has received criticism that its cars are "too polite," which is to say they don't function as if driven by boorish, distracted humans. Results have shown that a world full of autonomous vehicles would be much safer than the status quo, potentially saving tens-of-thousands of lives per year.

The ability to power and re-power these vehicles without bulky and expensive plug-based infrastructure could be a key component to their eventual ubiquity.

Photo credit: NOAH BERGER/AFP/Getty Images


Robert Montenegro is a writer and dramaturg who regularly contributes to Big Think and Crooked Scoreboard. He lives in Washington DC and is a graduate of Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles.

Twitter: @Monteneggroll. Website:

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

Want to age gracefully? A new study says live meaningfully

Thinking your life is worthwhile is correlated with a variety of positive outcomes.

Surprising Science
  • A new study finds that adults who feel their lives are meaningful have better health and life outcomes.
  • Adults who felt their lives were worthwhile tended to be more social and had healthier habits.
  • The findings could be used to help improve the health of older adults.
Keep reading Show less
Promotional photo of Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister on Game of Thrones
Surprising Science
  • It's commonly thought that the suppression of female sexuality is perpetuated by either men or women.
  • In a new study, researchers used economics games to observe how both genders treat sexually-available women.
  • The results suggests that both sexes punish female promiscuity, though for different reasons and different levels of intensity.
Keep reading Show less

This 1997 Jeff Bezos interview proves he saw the future coming

Jeff Bezos, the founder of, explains his plan for success.

Technology & Innovation
  • Jeff Bezos had a clear vision for from the start.
  • He was inspired by a statistic he learned while working at a hedge fund: In the '90s, web usage was growing at 2,300% a year.
  • Bezos explains why books, in particular, make for a perfect item to sell on the internet.
Keep reading Show less