KAUST team models use of wireless road charging

Researchers have furthered the understanding of how wireless road charging could influence driver behaviour and city planning in a future dominated by electric vehicles (EVs).

wireless road charging
(Image by MikesPhotos from Pixabay )

The team at KAUST in Saudi Arabia set about this by applying statistical geometry to the analysis of urban road networks.

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“Our work is motivated by the global trend of moving towards green transportation and EVs,” said postdoc Mustafa Kishk. “Efficient dynamic charging systems, such as wireless power transfer systems installed under roads, are being developed by researchers and technology companies around the world as a way to charge EVs while driving without the need to stop. In this context, there is a need to mathematically analyse the large-scale deployment of charging roads in metropolitan cities.”

Drivers may seek out wireless road charging on their commute, which has implications for urban planning and traffic control. Meanwhile, the density of wireless road charging installations in a city, and the likely time spent on and between the charging roads by commuters, could influence the size of batteries installed in EVs by car manufacturers.

Calculating the metrics that could be used to analyse a charging road network is very significant, said Duc Minh Nguyen.

“Our main challenge is that the metrics used to evaluate the performance of dynamic charging deployment, such as the distance to the nearest charging road on a random trip, depend on the starting and ending points of each trip,” he said. “To correctly capture those metrics, we had to explicitly list all possible situations, compute the metrics in each case and evaluate how likely it is for each situation to happen in reality. For this, we used an approach called stochastic geometry to model and analyse how these metrics are affected by factors such as the density of roads and the frequency of dynamic charging deployment.”

Applying this analysis to the Manhattan area of New York, which has a road density of one road every 63m, Kishk and Nguyen with research leader Mohamed-Slim Alouini determined that a driver would have an 80 per cent chance of encountering a charging road after driving for 500m when wireless charging is installed on 20 per cent of roads.

“This is the first study to incorporate stochastic geometry into the performance analysis of charging road deployment in metropolitan cities,” Kishk said. “It is an important step towards a better understanding of charging road deployment in metropolitan cities.”

The team’s findings have been published in IEEE Open Journal of Vehicular Technology.