Modern cars are equipped with all sorts of fancy new safety equipment. A side-effect of all those automated braking systems and other goodies is that your car might freak the hell out in an automated car wash, kind of like trying to get a dog into a bathtub.
The increasingly advanced automatic driver-assistance safety systems in modern cars is causing some major issues in the queue for automated car washes, according to a report from Forbes.
The issue is that the sensory safety systems that help to prevent crashes on the road also often prevent cars from thinking the enclosure full of spraying water and spinning brushes is a good place to be, causing the systems to overload and essentially disable the vehicle.
That’s because the sensors used for forward collision mitigation systems aren’t able to tell the difference between a solid wall and what the industry calls a “soft mitter curtain.” To an auto-braking system’s sensors, both are considered large and equally hazardous obstructions with which collisions must be avoided. Car wash operators are reporting instances where cars have become stuck in mid-wash by their vehicles’ auto-braking systems. Some, ironically in the act of preventing a crash, have actually jumped the car wash rails and inadvertently caused a collision with the vehicle directly rearward.
What’s more, car wash operators report similar problems with some vehicles’ electronic parking brake systems holding up the queue, which tends to most hamper car washes in which the driver is required to leave the transmission in neutral, switch off the engine, and exit the car. Some cars engage the emergency brake automatically when a car is switched off, while others require a motorist to shift into park before turning off the engine.
Of course there are a few caveats. Car washes using conveyor belt systems to guide the cars through obviously mitigate the issues of having to get the car to drive through. Also, some modern cars still allow you to disable the safety systems that may be causing the issues, but many owners likely don’t know how to.
That last aspect wont even matter in a few years when all cars come with automatic braking and other detection systems as standard and are not able to be disabled. If you’ve had troubles with bathing your car (or dog), tell us about it.
Whatever will we do? Hand wash our cars? Are you crazy?
Article source: Gizmodo