An increasing number of vehicles are equipped with semi-autonomous features that help keep a vehicle centered on the highway, self-park a car, and automatically apply the brakes in order to prevent a collision with another car. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) disclosed that auto-braking systems can lower rear-end crashes by 40 percent. Regulators and auto manufacturers have vowed to add forward collision prevention systems as a standard feature in light-duty vehicles by 2022.
While these semi-autonomous features are useful and exciting, they are definitely not perfect. Recently, a report revealed that automatic brakes can cause unexpected delays and hassles for vehicles who are car wash bound. BestRide.com, a popular car-shopping site disclosed that drivers of 14 different vehicle brands have found the automatic brakes on their vehicles sometimes activate accidentally during car washes, prompting collisions or other complications.
The problem is that while automatic brakes are designed to help prevent car accidents, they may also engage when nearing the spinning brushes and spraying water in a car wash, leading the systems to overload and disable the vehicle. Operators at car washes have noted situations involving vehicles which became stuck mid-wash because of the automatic braking systems on their vehicles. They have also come across issues where auto braking systems caused vehicles to crash into others in the car wash queue.
Technologies such as auto hold braking and collision-detecting will be standard in 2020 and consumers are unaware of the consequences they may bring to everyday tasks. Acura, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Jeep, Lexus, Mercedes-Benz, RAM, Range Rover, Subaru, Tesla, Toyota, and Volvo are all vehicles that can be immobilized during automated car washes unless certain auto-braking systems can be deactivated.
Only time will tell whether the issues that come with self-driving features and vehicles will be solved. Until then, human drivers will continue to be operating the majority of the vehicles on the road and accidents will still occur.
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