OMAHA, Neb. — The idea of fueling your vehicle without wires or fuel pumps may still feel very futuristic. But some transportation agencies are already benefiting from this technology.

In HDR’s latest Experts Talk interview, Thomas Stout, Ph.D., explains how wireless power transfer works, how it’s being used today, its possible future applications and what transportation leaders need to know as they make long-range plans.

Transit agencies in particular are finding wireless power transfer a viable and beneficial alternative to other charging systems for electric buses, Stout says, principally for en-route charging that can extend vehicles’ routes. But it’s not just transit leaders that should recognize the possibilities of the technology. It also has potential future applications for passenger vehicles, tolling, delivery vehicles and more.

“Everyone, including transit agencies and DOTs, should be paying attention regardless of whether they are ready to actively pursue the technology,” Stout writes. “Any long-range planning for the impact of electric vehicles should consider wireless power transfer as one piece of the larger puzzle.”

Stout has an extensive background as an electronic systems architect and helped design the first commercially available wireless charger for passenger electric vehicles. His work focuses on all aspects of wireless power transfer and its applications for transit, freight and passenger vehicles.

Read the interview on the HDR website, or download a PDF version.

HDR’s Experts Talk interview series shines a light on various aspects of transportation infrastructure design and delivery. Each subject matter expert offers unique expertise and insights about new and ongoing trends, emerging technologies and the human side of infrastructure.

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