If self-driving cars are now a reality, why can’t they be self-washing too? This is a question Toyota is trying to address with its latest patent application.
According to reports, the automaker recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for self-washing car technology.
Based on the patent imagery included in the application, the technology will allow autonomous cars to connect to a cloud-based server, check if it’s in need of a wash, and locate then drive to an automated car wash facility.
The patent states: “In a car wash judgment system, an acquirer acquires traveling information of a vehicle. A condition retaining unit retains a certain car wash condition. A judgment unit judges whether or not traveling information acquired at the acquirer satisfies the certain car wash condition. An unpaved road information retaining unit retains unpaved road information, indicating an unpaved road. The certain car wash condition includes traveling on an unpaved road by the vehicle.”
Simply put, there will be two systems programmed to determine what is considered clean and what is not. When the car fails to meet the conditions set for cleanliness based on its travel information, the vehicle will pull out information on the nearest automated car wash station and drive itself there.
While it’s essentially a great technology to add to vehicles, it is also worth noting that not all patent applications turn out to become actual products or technologies. Still, if Toyota pushes for this development, it will be an added convenience for car owners.