#188: En-route refuelling

If you’re driving a long way and still feeling fresh, the last thing you need is to have to draw into a service station and buy fuel (together with their wildly overpriced coffee, sandwiches and traditional butterfudge cake).

If aircraft can refuel in-flight without needing to drop into the nearest Moto station then why can’t cars? (btw, who the hell designs Moto signage, Martians? )


Today’s invention is en-route refuelling. When your vehicle’s tank approaches empty, rather than having to stop and lower your average speed, you can simply call up and locate the nearest road tanker vehicle. These would be hammering along the world’s road networks full of eg four-star, diesel or LGP. A distributed computer system would detect which tanker was nearest and direct both vehicles towards a rolling rendez-vous.

On meeting up, you would drive your vehicle until it docked with the rear of the tanker and received an injection of fuel. You might even be able to take on some window-wash or radiator water -or even a cup of coffee (toileting facilities might be made available, but I’ll leave those details to your imagination).

Refilled, your vehicle would undock and carry on its merry way.

One Comment:

  1. Roadside assistance companies could provide, for each stretch of motorway, a drone vehicle which would run on the grass verge on the inside of the ‘hard shoulder.’

    This could be called using a special location-specific phone number displayed by the side of the road (eg in small print embedded within road markings). The very high cost of this would deter misuse ie calling in anything other than an emergency.

    The drones, which would never actually touch the hard shoulder, would carry essential supplies -such as emergency fuel and radiator water. They might even carry information about traffic conditions ahead etc.

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