General Motors has filed two patents in the United States based on which it looks like the company is working on technologies to make self-driving cars self-cleaning cars. With the advent of self-driving cars, instead of everyone owning a car, it is more likely that vehicles will become shared vehicles as part of shared fleets or shuttle vehicles. With more people using one vehicle as part of such services, there is likely to be more trash in each car. There will also be no people keeping an eye on such cars and cleaning them up on a regular basis.
GM’s patents reveal that the company is working on the development of internal sensors that will be able to sense how clean the interior of a vehicle is. When these sensors detect that the vehicle is in need of cleaning, the self-cleaning system can activate several cleaning devices, like vacuums that have been integrated into the floor mats, steam cleaners that work using engine heat and recovered water, and even waste baskets that automatically replace garbage bags.
Another innovation that is mentioned in the patent is the use of incentive-like coupons to encourage passengers to remove and dispose off the garbage bags when they exit from the vehicle.
According to the patent application, the car can do the cleaning either autonomously or the vehicle can send signals to a user, who can activate the cleaning system remotely. The system can also be used to warn passengers about potential allergens in the car, like traces of peanuts or pet hair.
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