General Motors(GM) recently acquired an Autonomous startup Cruise for $1 Billion & showed its tremendous interest in the Self-Driving Car space. Not stopping there, GM has recently filed 2 patent applications for Self-Cleaning systems in the U.S that will be part of the Autonomous cars.
The Autonomous vehicle industry is expected to create and disrupt various other industries. As for GM, they eye the ‘Autonomous vehicle cleaning’ as a potentially big space. Which is true, owing to the fact that Driver-less vehicles will be used Day & night as it operates by itself. Due to this maintaining the cleanliness of the vehicle will become a nightmare ( imagine the waste food wrappers, shoe dirt etc. collected inside over time )
GM proposes an interesting solution wherein the Vehicle will auto-detect the cleanliness factor of itself via. built in sensors. If the vehicle feels the interior is not clean enough, the Self-cleaning system will be activated. Which may consist of vacuums integrated in the floor mats, Air blowers getting air from the engine steam, Water spay etc,. Take a look at the system IP diagrams GM has filed. It may also contain waste baskets for the passengers to dispose their unwanted in-car garbage.
The patent also speaks about giving out coupons to incentivize the passengers to remove the garbage bags when they leave the vehicle. Note: When Driver-less vehicles become mainstream, experts expect more of vehicle sharing, Autonomous Public transport, Self-driving taxis to increase. And in these cases such incentive plans may play an important role encouraging people to follow public cleanliness policies.
Other pages of the patent application also speaks about options for the vehicle cleaning itself automatically when required -or- being managed remotely by the vehicle owner ie. by sending out a signal to the car to start the cleaning process. Also mentioned are features where the car can sense and inform the on-boarding passengers about potential allergens, pet hair etc. in the car, so they can initiate a cleaning before they board.
Overall the developments pertaining to driverless cars and the environments around it seem fascinating. Lets wait and see what more innovation comes up in the coming days 🙂