Consequences of autonomous driving for car wash
Germany is a global pioneer in the field of legislation for autonomous driving. But everything that is necessary for the start of the next level of autonomous driving is still a long way from being settled. Autonomous vehicles must recognize traffic signs independently and comply with traffic regulations. In the future, this will mean that drivers will be able to withdraw more from their own driving. As a result, the drivers of the day after tomorrow will also lack driving experience. In the special driving situation, for example in the car wash, this could lead to problems.
Even today, driving into a car wash is frightening for some drivers and they avoid this situation. Today every driver has a minimum of driving experience. This could be further reduced in the future. By the end of this year, the first drivers could be on German roads using automated lane departure warning systems and relinquishing control of the vehicle while driving on the autobahn for a longer period of time. This development will be expanded with increasing technical progress. Today it is not foreseeable when the first vehicles with a driver who is more of a passenger than self-drive will drive into a car wash.
Redefine the question of liability
Liability insurance currently covers the majority of the costs of settling damage that has occurred to others. The costs for your own repairs are currently only insured in a few exceptional cases. In the future, however, there will also be cases in which there is neither outside interference nor your own fault. Whenever the autonomous vehicle takes responsibility for driving and driving decisions, it can happen that only the artificial intelligence is to blame for the damage. It is important to clarify how the damage caused by third parties and your own damage will be settled in such cases. In the transition from manual driving to autonomous driving, there will be cases that move between the two worlds. “It must also be clear who is liable if an accident happens,” said Röhler, CEO of Allianz Germany.
Autonomous novice drivers
At the car insurer Allianz, it is expected that in the future there will also be accidents with supercomputers at the wheel. Especially where there is mixed traffic and autonomous and non-autonomous driving meet. In practice, this will mean that “soon […] more and more computer drivers with limited driving experience will be on our roads,” said Röhler. The insurer calls them “autonomous novice drivers”.
What will cause problems in road traffic will also lead to difficulties in car washes and require a rethink.
Washing facilities are not part of driving school training
At the request of CarwashPro, the 2nd chairman of the Federal Association of Driving Instructors Associations e. V., Ralf Nicolai, states that the topic of using a car wash is not part of the learner driver training regulations. Driving school instructors are already dealing with the issue of growing driving autonomy. “The topic of driver assistance systems has long been present among the driving instructors. The legislator and the driving instructor profession are currently working on specifications for driver assistance systems in training and testing. “