It turns out self-driving vehicles need to stay out of automatic car washes because the heavy brushes and soap rinse could damage their navigation sensors.
Autonomous vehicles aren’t just the future; they’ve already hit the road in many cities around the world. But one place you aren’t apt to find a self-driving car is in an automatic car wash. Not because the vehicle doesn’t need to be cleaned, though. It turns out the self-driving car and its vehicular spa don’t exactly play nice.
While autonomous cars can navigate many a complex route, it turns out that the relatively straight-shot of a drive-thru car wash is actually wildly complex — if not potentially dangerous.
Automated car washes have been around for many years, much longer than automated vehicles. Not unlike self-driving cars, the car wash takes the human element out of the equation when it comes to vehicular upkeep. This has worked wonderfully for us, so long as our manually operated cars have been subservient to the automation of the car wash.
But in the era of cars that can, in a way, think for themselves, competition for dominance could turn the “high-pressure rinse” into a “high-pressure rivalry.”
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