A Volvo is washed at the Saucon Valley Auto Spa. | Lehigh Valley Business

The latest technology in automatic car washes is here and it’s one that bats have been using for centuries. Sonar technology is being used a car wash in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania to make sure that the automatic technology doesn’t accidentally scuff or nick luxury vehicles that come through. The Lehigh Valley Business publication reported that the car wash Saucon Valley Auto Spa  upgraded its touchless system for the new technology.

The equipment works by measuring the vehicle before the wash begins so the machine knows where the vehicle sits and how much room it’s taking up. If the machine were to mess up and somehow tap the vehicle, or say a forgetful owner opens a door or cracks a window during the wash, the equipment is rigged to shut down immediately.

The technology costs less than $7,000 to install. Washes are expected to take about seven minutes.
The car wash’s site describes the technology this way: The Virtual Attendant® automatically compensates for wide mirrors, tail hitches, and the like as it effectively maneuvers around your vehicle. Using an innovative positioning system and sophisticated software, your vehicle is accurately measured by the VS2® Positioning System. This is important because your car needs to fit.  Mirror size and positioning; wheel-base and roof height; roof and bike racks are all factors that affect the efficiency of those other ‘one-size-fits-all car washes.’  At Saucon Valley Auto Spa your selected car wash will fit your vehicle.
While the technology might seem unnecessary for the average driver, who maybe isn’t overly concerned about their paint job, that’s not really what it’s for. The owner of Saucon Valley Auto Spa told Lehigh Valley Business that it’s mainly targeted the drivers of upscale vehicles, who are worried about their paint jobs. The feature, owner Robert Agentis explained, is aimed at convenience and not necessarily safety.