Tesla Is Patenting An Auto Sanitization System For Its Robotaxi Cars

A novel automated sanitization system for its future robotaxi self-driving electric automobiles is the subject of a recent patent application from Tesla. While autonomous ride-hailing services are still in their early stages of development, Tesla’s latest patent attempts to solve other growing issues related to these services.

When Tesla achieves its goal of perfecting self-driving technology a milestone that CEO Elon Musk believes is imminent the company intends to establish an autonomous ride-hailing service. But taking the driver out of the picture has other problems. In addition to operating the cars, drivers also keep them clean and in good working order for the passengers.

Tesla’s “Controlling Environmental Conditions in Enclosed Spaces” patent (originally noticed by @seti_park) describes an automated car sanitization method in response to these worries. The difficulty of keeping shared areas clean is discussed in the patent, as polluted surfaces or air might lead to the indirect spread of infectious diseases. Conventional manual cleaning techniques, including utilizing disinfectant wipes, take a lot of time, labor, and frequently don’t produce acceptable results. Moreover, it may be challenging to validate hand cleaning operations.

The proposed system uses a variety of sensors, including image, acoustic, thermal, pressure, capacitive, radio frequency, and gas sensors, to monitor the vehicle’s interior environment. For the sanitization process, Tesla suggests using UV lights and a heating system to disinfect surfaces and air within the vehicle. The patent also mentions the possibility of the vehicle autonomously driving to a specialized sanitization area equipped with robots. During sanitization, the vehicle could enter a ‘sanitization mode,’ which might involve moving seats or opening windows to allow light sources to reach different areas.

While this technology is promising, it hinges on the successful development of self-driving technology, which remains a significant challenge. Tesla’s focus on solving ancillary problems, like sanitization, is forward-thinking and necessary. However, perfecting self-driving capabilities is the primary hurdle that must be overcome before such innovations can be fully realized.

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