Toyota recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office that will see the company develop an autonomous car wash that allows your car to sense when it is dirty, and then head off to the car wash without any human input needed.
Essentially, the new car wash system, which has been named “car wash judgement system”, is able to sense when your autonomous vehicle has been driven in bad weather or on unpaved, dirty roads. The system then automatically alerts the car wash, which lets your Toyota know when it can it come in for a clean.
The vehicle will then be booked in, with the car wash knowing exactly when it will arrive courtesy of live updates from its sat-nav, and what type of clean it will need.
According to the patent filed by Toyota: “When a vehicle that has transmitted traveling information is an automated driving vehicle capable of performing automated driving and when the traveling information of the automated driving vehicle satisfies the car wash condition, a car wash instruction unit transmits an instruction signal for moving the automated driving vehicle to a car wash station.”
Best of all, if you’ve got somewhere to be during the scheduled car wash, your autonomous vehicle won’t take you on a lengthy detour just to get a quick clean. The car wash judgement system takes into consideration how long it will take to clean the vehicle. If there is not enough time to clean your vehicle and make it to your destination, the Toyota car wash system will bypass the washing operation and wait for a more ideal time.
Toyota is planning for the future with the car wash judgement system, as it believes conventional car ownership will eventually be overtaken by ride-sharing options like Uber, Lyft, and Zoox. The new cleaning system will allow fleet operators to hand over all cleaning duties to the Toyota car wash system.