The Robotic Arm That Will Refuel Your Car So You Don’t Have To

Danish startup Autofuel has developed a robotic arm capable of refueling a variety of vehicles at gas stations without any kind of human intervention. A Neste gas station in Finland is currently the only place in the world where a robot will put gas in your car. The station, which is the pilot site chosen to test the futuristic refueling system, provides a robotic arm that can locate a car’s fuel tank door, select the correct type of fuel, and operate the pump, without any kind of assistance from humans. Testing has been conducted for over a year, and now the company is ready to move forward with its vision of making the refueling robots mainstream. The idea is to reduce the potential exposure to harmful chemicals and fuel components at gas stations for both employees and customers. Cameras detect the VIN so the system can determine which type of fuel the vehicle requires, while another camera directs the car to stop in a certain area so the arm can access the fuel tank door. The only concern is the speed at which the arm refuels, with people pointing out that it’s much slower than a human. Since every innovation comes with a trade-off, slower refueling may just be the one that comes with the robotic refueling system.