Summertime, the season of adventure and experience. Road trips with friends and family create lifelong memories, even when they don’t go as planned.

Imagine you’re driving down a long, flat highway in the middle of nowhere when you notice your fuel gauge is sitting almost on empty. A wave of panic washes over you as you realize the nearest gas station is well out of your drivable distance. Resigning yourself to the inevitable, you pull over and call a tow truck to bring you some fuel; ultimately delaying your trip. What if you didn’t have to stop for fuel at all or for hours on end to recharge your electric vehicle?

Ongoing research at Stanford University is trying to do just that—fuel a car simply by driving on the road.

While the research is new and developing, it would open up a world of possibilities for road trips of the future; virtually eliminating the need for gas stops on the drive to your destination. While getting lost trying to find fuel is sometimes half the fun of taking a road trip, a car that recharges itself on the road would help streamline lengthy cross-country drives. Only the driver and passengers would be the determining factors as to when and for how long the vehicle might stop.

Vehicles that can recharge on the road are several years away from becoming a reality, but the possibilities will be nearly limitless once the technology is fully developed, tested, and—hopefully—one day implemented.

Imagine the epic road trips you will be able to have once cars that have the ability to recharge on the road become available on the everyday market. If the researchers can find a feasible way to make the idea of road rechargeable cars a reality, it might truly become the fuel of the future for our vehicles.

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