Amazon has filed a patent for a drone that will fly to your electric car and charge it while you are driving. The patent, titled "Systems, devices and methods delivering energy using an uncrewed autonomous vehicle", covers a wide range of use cases for the drones.
This is likely a signal on how serious Amazon is regarding drones.
Schematic diagram of a UAV configured to travel to a vehicle and transfer energy to the vehicle. | Patent: Systems, devices and methods delivering energy using an uncrewed autonomous vehicle
“Devices such as vehicles, remote sensors, and so forth consume energy during operation. Described herein are systems, devices, and methods for transferring energy from an uncrewed autonomous vehicle to a vehicle such as a car. The uncrewed autonomous vehicle may locate the vehicle at a rendezvous location, and connect with the vehicle while the vehicle moves. Once the uncrewed autonomous vehicle connects to the vehicle, the uncrewed autonomous vehicle may transfer the energy to the vehicle.” reads the patent filed by Amazon on 27 June 2014 and published on 3 October 2017.
During December 2016 Amazon made its first ever drone delivery to an actual customer using the Amazon Prime Air service. What was notable about this delivery was that it was done without a human pilot and it took 13 minutes from the order being placed by a customer (he ordered a Fire TV device and popcorn) to delivery.
Examples of a UAV's docking connector and a vehicle's docking mechanism, which when coupled may provide electrical contacts, fuel transfer connectors, and so forth. | Patent: Systems, devices and methods delivering energy using an uncrewed autonomous vehicle
The patent also specifies that the Amazon UAV can be used to transfer energy (charge) to “surveillance equipment, communications equipment, utility control equipment.” This increases the scope of its possible uses to beyond servicing only consumers to possibly becoming one of the main ways that devices are charged in future.