Someone once said something about freshwater being the new oil. From a scarcity and need perspective, water is already much more valuable on a dollar per liter basis than oil. Similar to how oil can be a lubricant for gears, clean water is also going to play an important role in the operation of driverless mobility machines.
Shadie Bisharat, VP Mobility of Watergen indicates that up to 10 liters of water per 400 miles of driving may be necessary to clean the sensors on autonomous vehicles. Watergen, an Israeli producer of air-to-water devices, is already talking to vehicle OEMs about how their devices could supply this water without the need for refilling on-board tanks.
In the meantime, according to Bisharat, they are looking at adding freshwater spigots in RVs, long-haul trucks, and other applications where an internal supply of water would be convenient.
Watergen’s automotive efforts build on their existing products, such as the GEN-M, which generates up to 211 gallons of water per day and targets schools, hospitals, commercial and residential buildings. They also have a mobile version of GEN-M for disaster zones where potable water and electricity are not available.
GENNY, introduced at CES2020, replaces the traditional water cooler and associated unwieldy water jugs. Bisharat indicates this relatively small unit creates 8 gallons of water per day. Requiring only 1 kW per three liters of water, the cost of a liter of water is well under ten cents. This assumes the cost of electricity at 15 cents per kilowatt-hour. Bisharat says that he amortized costs of their product is much less than the cost of electricity.
[Note: to see another example of this type of solution, check out this ViodiTV interview from CES2019).