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Could Tesla implement a feature to detect when an ICE is blocking a Supercharger stall?

Ulmo

Active Member
Jan 19, 2016
4,329
4,906
Vienna Woods, Aptos, California
Would I be right Tesla owners would like a new feature of a parking spot sensor to sense when a car is blocking the parking spot to inform everyone of the availability? Maybe a camera could figure it out, or some device mounted in the pedestal. It wouldn't be necessary everywhere, but this seems like the first one where it would be important.
 

mociaf9

Active Member
Oct 18, 2018
3,039
6,329
CA
Would I be right Tesla owners would like a new feature of a parking spot sensor to sense when a car is blocking the parking spot to inform everyone of the availability? Maybe a camera could figure it out, or some device mounted in the pedestal. It wouldn't be necessary everywhere, but this seems like the first one where it would be important.
A much easier to implement, less complicated, and less data heavy solution than using cameras and computer vision would be to put induction coils in the parking surface similar to those that are used for traffic sensing at stoplights.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,889
1,882
Richland, WA
I actually think you probably could just use an IR sensor or something roughly at bumper level. You would only need to read out about 3-5 feet. Have the network only show an occupied spot if the sensor sees something for like 60+ seconds. Then you could use the difference between the sensor and the plug to change the display on the supercharger info from a used spot to a yellow “blocked” spot.

That could help Tesla figure out how often spots are blocked vs actually in use with a car & give owners an idea if the spots will probably be cleared in 20 to 30 minutes (if it’s a valid supercharging session) or maybe blocked for hours (if at a mall or something and ICED.)
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,889
1,882
Richland, WA
Easy enough to add a sensor to the Supercharger stand to detect a car in the spot.
More difficult to figure out what to do if you have a car there which is not charging... call a tow truck?

The problem is, most these spots are not legally marked for electric vehicles only. Either the state doesn’t have clear laws on how to mark them, or Tesla hasn’t done that. I know in Washington state there are very specific laws on signage that needs to be posted, the color of paint used for the spot, etc for it to be legally electric only. I’ve never seen a Tesla Supercharger that follows those rules. Presumably because the business owner isn’t willing to legally block those spots from other people. I’m not sure you could actually have a tow truck tow someone like that, unless the business owner called and then he might be responsible for fees or damages since the car wasn’t actually legally doing anything wrong.
 

mspohr

Well-Known Member
Jul 27, 2014
10,395
13,148
California
The problem is, most these spots are not legally marked for electric vehicles only. Either the state doesn’t have clear laws on how to mark them, or Tesla hasn’t done that. I know in Washington state there are very specific laws on signage that needs to be posted, the color of paint used for the spot, etc for it to be legally electric only. I’ve never seen a Tesla Supercharger that follows those rules. Presumably because the business owner isn’t willing to legally block those spots from other people. I’m not sure you could actually have a tow truck tow someone like that, unless the business owner called and then he might be responsible for fees or damages since the car wasn’t actually legally doing anything wrong.
I think most (all?) Superchargers are on private property where the property owner sets the rules for parking. I have seen many private parking lots with signs setting rules for parking including being towed for violation of the rules.
This would probably have to be negotiated individually with every site.
 

acarney

Active Member
Jul 9, 2019
2,889
1,882
Richland, WA
I think most (all?) Superchargers are on private property where the property owner sets the rules for parking. I have seen many private parking lots with signs setting rules for parking including being towed for violation of the rules.
This would probably have to be negotiated individually with every site.

That’s a good point, I didn’t think about that.
 

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