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  • Cassie Farley

Car Wash VS Self Driving Car

The introduction of self driving cars has hit many road blocks and keeping them clean is no exception.

These cars maneuver around and avoid objects thanks to sensors attached to the vehicle. These sensors must be kept extremely clean in order to work. Any dirt, salt residue or debris could confuse the sensors calibration. The problem is, no one has figured out a way to clean these delicate sensors other than hand washing them. 

According to an article released by CNN, soap residue could "blind" the sensors and the high pressure sprays or brushes could move or break them off. The article quotes Avis's Chief innovation officer Arthur Orduna whose company has been put in charge of cleaning and refueling a fleet of self driving vans, "There are special processes that definitely require a lot more care and focus, and you have to clean [the vans] quite often. We give them the premium level of service that I don't think any vehicle globally is getting." 

A number of other companies that are testing out self driving cars reportedly use microfiber cloths, rubbing alcohol and glass cleaner. These companies manually clean each sensor.

While it may be a few years before we see self driving cars on the road on a regular basis, we should start thinking now how it could effect the industry. 

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