New car assistance systems might hamper the car wash

Unsplash, Samuele Errico Piccarini

News that largely went unnoticed last week: many recently developed driver assistance systems became mandatory in new cars in the EU. These systems that are supposed to increase safety on the road. But in car washes, they frequently lead to problems, damage and malfunctions.

Recently, the so-called EU “General Safety Regulation” was revised. This law regulates, among other things, the requirements for type approval of motor vehicles. It lists more than eleven equipment characteristics which are obligatory in new developed cars, since July 6th. More regulations will follow in 2024.


Some of the driver assistance systems that are now mandatory are a step up to the ones that are already found in many modern cars. Things like intelligent speed assist and advanced emergency braking assist will now become mandatory.
But, in the past similar systems have contributed to malfunctions in car washes. Especially affected are tunnel car washes, where the vehicles are moved by machines from one side to the other. It remains to be seen what effect the new systems will have.

Get informed

As the number of technical devices in cars increases, so does the responsibility of drivers to keep up to date with the technology. It’s not enough to flip through the operating manual as we found out when we spoke to a vehicle manufacturer.
It will be wise for car wash operators to follow this development closely. And, if necessary, take some precautions. It will be interesting to see how car wash manufacturers will adapt to the increasing number of driver assistance systems.

List of mandatory driver assistance systems

Intelligent Speed Assist (ISA)
Emergency brake light
Reversing assistant
Advanced Emergency Brake Assist (AEBS)*
Emergency Lane Keeping Assist (ELKS)
Drowsiness and attention alert system (DDAW)
Device for the installation of an alcohol interlock
Event data recorder (EDR, also “accident data recorder”)
Protection against cyber attacks
Tire pressure monitoring system (TPMS) – for N1
Driver availability monitoring (for automated driving functions)


*AEBS for the protection of pedestrians and cyclists. This is not mandatory until 2024 for new vehicle types in the passenger car and light truck segment.

photo: Unsplash, Samuele Errico Piccarini

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Author: Sandra Schäfer

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