She later learned the SUV driver in front of her had hit the brakes, causing his vehicle to hop off the conveyor and come to a stop. Martinez’s car, being propelled by the car wash, rammed into his multiple times. Both drivers were uninjured, but the man who caused the incident immediately sped away. Next, the car wash attendant informed Martinez the business wasn't technically responsible for damages, leaving her with a damaged bumper that would cost $1,000 to repair — due to an accident that wasn't even her fault.
Martinez is not alone. Carwash pileups are happening more often than ever, but, like many patrons, she was unaware such accidents occurred. However, the carwash industry is painfully aware of the problem. And while they do their best to avoid in-tunnel collisions, they face two major challenges.
Why Pileups are On The Rise
Many carwashes now offer unlimited plans, meaning their customers can pay a monthly fee to wash their car as often as they like. These plans have become more popular in recent years, and that means more drivers are washing their cars more often than ever before. Increasing demand, in turn, increases the probability of in-tunnel pileups caused by driver error.
Driver error is the most common cause of pileups at conveyor-driven car washes. In this scenario, a driver accidentally hits the brakes or shifts out of neutral, which causes their vehicle to hop the roller. If the car stops moving and the conveyor isn't stopped, vehicles collide into each other and create a pileup similar to the one described at the outset.
Self-driving technology also contributes to in-tunnel collisions. Some new cars are programmed to avoid accidents by applying the brakes when a threat is detected. During a car wash, this technology can be problematic because spinning brushes and other equipment may be mistaken as threats. In this scenario, the technology detects the threat, applies the brakes, and the vehicle hops the roller, which causes a pileup. Auto manufacturers are aware of this problem, and some publish instructions for carwash mode, but most drivers are unaware of the risk so they usually don’t know to look for these instructions in the first place.
The Impact of In-Tunnel Pileups
Regardless of the cause, car wash pileups create havoc beyond physical damage or repair costs. Not only are victims usually liable for damages, an auto collision can be traumatic. Those factors often make for a less-than-favorable carwash experience. According to Understanding Customers by Ruby Newell-Legner, 91 per cent of customers never return to a business after a negative experience. And the impact does not stop there. Research from American Express found Canadians tell an average of 16 people about a bad experience with a business. And when shared via social media, the reach can extend much further — to thousands of social media users.
Customers regularly post their experiences with businesses on sites like Facebook, Yelp, and Twitter. Negative reviews drive potential customers away and can deteriorate even the strongest of brands. Stories about carwash pileups rarely go viral, but when they do, they can end up in the news — like the Amber Martinez story. In one case, the carwash paid for the victim’s damages — even though they had no legal obligation to do so. It was easier for the business to pay than suffer the bad publicity.
But there’s more. According to Michael Benmosche, National Car Wash Insurance Program Manager at McNeil and Company, in-tunnel collisions often cost operators four times as much as direct damage costs. Indirect costs include time spend by staff dealing with collisions, lost production due to a stopped conveyor, loss of business caused by a negative public image, and the cost of training new employees.
Carwash pileups increase new employee training costs because accidents decrease morale and can contribute to a high turnover rate. For starters, if an accident occurs on an employee’s watch, they may feel responsible. Secondly, interacting with unhappy customers can be taxing. For a pileup victim, being informed the carwash isn’t covering damage costs may cause stress and frustration — and stressed, frustrated customers aren’t always known to be kind. If pileups happen regularly at a carwash, being treated poorly by customers may be enough to make any employee want to find a new job.
Preventing Car Wash Pileups
Motivated by the significant negative impact of in-tunnel accidents, operators have historically addressed the problem in several ways. Some have an employee monitor the tunnel from inside; others increase the space between cars or decrease conveyor speeds. But these are merely stopgaps. After enough time standing and staring, an employee in such a distracting environment is bound to make a mistake. And slowing production hurts the bottom line. With these dilemmas in mind, carwash owners have been desperate for a better approach to preventing collisions.
Rising demand for an effective, permanent solution is bringing forth a new class of carwash technology: full-tunnel collision prevention. This kind of system uses computer vision and machine learning to prevent accidents and improve operational capacity. It’s an automated solution to the pileup problem that ultimately helps operators increase profitability. The system integrates with tunnel controllers and monitors the operation through cameras most carwashes already have installed. If the computer vision detects a stopped car, it stops the conveyor faster than humanly possible and prevents an accident from occurring.
In this case, stopping the conveyor helps operators increase production. It may seem counterintuitive, but full-tunnel accident prevention drastically cuts downtime related to incidents. Preventing an accident means spending a few minutes to reposition a vehicle on the conveyor instead of accruing the indirect costs related to pileups.
Knowing that reliable machinery is monitoring the tunnel also makes operators more confident, allowing them to increase production and decrease downtime. They are able to operate at faster chain speeds with less space between cars— adjustments that result in more cars per hour, and more peace of mind for both carwash operators and drivers.
While the pileup problem has been growing due to increasing customer demand and auto-braking vehicles, full-tunnel collision prevention systems could very well be the answer. Such a solution eliminates the need to slow production or rely on humans to monitor the tunnel. It effectively avoids pileups and allows operators to increase production and decrease downtime. Thanks to the machine learning and computer vision offered by reliable accident-prevention systems, the direct and indirect damages caused by in-tunnel collisions may soon be a thing of the past.
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PDQ MANUFACTURING INC.
With 30 years of technological advances and the strongest end-to-end support network in the world, PDQ is the undeniable partner for car wash solutions and success.
CHICAGO (October 4, 2017) - ONE Brands unveiled their brand-new look at the NACS trade show in Chicago recently.
While the delicious recipes that make ONE Bar so crave-worthy will stay the same, ONE packaging will now feature new mouthwatering photography, engaging tag lines and disruptive color schemes to delight old and new fans alike.
“After months of creative and strategic teamwork, we are eager to introduce a modern brand that communicates the better-for-you messages that are unique to ONE; most importantly that our bars always offer just ONE gram of sugar and at least 20 grams of protein per serving,” said Peter Burns, CEO of ONE Brands. “The rebrand features the same too-good-to-be-true taste that our fans know and love, with a stylish redesign that highlights our decadent flavors and fun brand personas.”
ONE’s guilt-free, yet indulgent, bars are available in flavors including Birthday Cake, Cinnamon Roll, Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough, Peanut Butter Pie and more will continue to be sold at One1Brands.com, Amazon.com, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and various retailers nationwide for an SRP of $2.49-$2.79. ONE lovers everywhere are encouraged to look for the brand’s new sleek and modern packaging, and rest assured the beloved bar inside remain the same.
> Convenience stores are community stores.
GREENSBORO, N.C., Sept. 25, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) - Moyle Petroleum, a family-owned business headquartered in South Dakota that specializes in the convenience store industry, chose to standardize its c-store forecourt infrastructure with Gilbarco’s EMV™ and Applause™ TV media solutions to increase store traffic and mitigate fraudulent transactions at the dispenser.
Applause TV is a turnkey digital marketing solution designed to entertain and engage customers while they’re on the forecourt driving them into the store. The entertainment and promotional content varies by time of day, promoting high-margin in-store items. According to Jonathan Kemp, I.T. Systems Manager at Moyle, “We look forward to protecting our customers’ credit and debit cards from fraud with the additional security of EMV on the forecourt. Upgrading to EMV inside the store was a pretty painless process and aligns with our mission, while giving us a competitive edge.” Moyle uses Gilbarco’s Passport® Point-of-Sale system inside the store.
Gilbarco’s VP of Marketing for North America, Mark Williams, says that consumer expectations have really pushed retailers to focus on EMV. “We launched EMV software for our Passport point-of-sale system more than a year ago. Consumers are starting to expect EMV payment acceptance, and leading retailers like Moyle are listening and rapidly enabling EMV inside the store. Given growing consumer expectations around EMV, we expect to see EMV 'turn on' at the fuel dispenser rapidly as well when the software is available later this year. Retailers are anxious to retain their security-conscious customers, who understand that fraud will be highest at those sites that haven’t yet upgraded.”
Applause TV can be factory-installed to support media in Gilbarco’s new Encore® 700 S dispensers or in FlexPay II retrofit kits for existing Encore 300, 500 or Advantage models. It leverages the same high-speed communications equipment required for EMV, making one upgrade a logical extension of the other.
For further information, contact (336) 547-5121 e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Austin, Texas USA - [September 21, 2017] – Dover Fueling Solutions (“DFS”), a Dover company who delivers advanced fuel dispensing equipment, electronic systems and payment, fleet systems, automatic tank gauging and wetstock management, is pleased to announce the appointment of Jeroen de Gruijter to the role of Managing Director of Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). Reporting directly to David Crouse, the President of DFS, de Gruijter will be based in the DFS manufacturing center in Dundee, Scotland.
This appointment comes at a time when DFS is gaining momentum in the industry, uniting legendary brands such as Tokheim, Wayne Fueling Systems, Fairbanks, ProGauge and OPW FMS, which were recently brought together to create the DFS business in December 2016.
A Mechanical Engineer, de Gruijter joins DFS from Xylem, a water equipment manufacturer, where he served as Managing Director for Europe, Middle East, India and Africa. He brings to the position strong experience in driving commercial success and P&L management. De Gruijter will be responsible for managing key regions across the EMEA for DFS and shaping the strategic commercial vision.
“Dover Fueling Solutions is comprised of many of the leading brands in the fuel retail market, and our goal is to build upon and leverage that strong position,” noted de Gruijter. “We will continue to operate the DFS brands as ‘business as usual’ while aligning the organization’s efforts and resources to ensure that we enhance business performance and better serve our customers..”
Crouse said, “Jeroen’s experience in implementing market strategy and his knowledge of the business landscape within the EMEA region will be vital as DFS continues to work to deliver to customers worldwide a greater range of choices by providing a combined product portfolio that represents the industry’s only truly global end-to-end fueling solutions and world-class support.”
For more information, contact:
Dover Fueling Systems
P: +1 512 388 8468
M: +1 512 560 5482
New solutions are designed to improve CPG tracking and insights, and ultimately increase sales
DALLAS – October 19, 2017 – Excentus, a provider of loyalty technology and marketing solutions to national and regional brands, convenience retailers, grocers, and consumer packaged goods (CPG) manufacturers, launched new products and solutions to increase sales and improve promotions for CPG manufacturers at the recent National Association of Convenience Stores (NACS) Show.
“Excentus is introducing solutions at NACS to specifically address direct line-of-sight into shopper behavior that CPG brands currently lack," said Jamie Hudson, Vice President of Promotional Services for Excentus.
Through Excentus’ retail programs, CPG brands will have unparalleled access to millions of shoppers, helping them better understand exactly who their customers are through sku-level data and personally identifiable consumer information. CPG manufacturers can in turn identify new opportunities to deliver the right branded offers and promotions to the right audiences and drive product movement. According to Excentus’ internal program data, customers spend 2x more inside c-stores when they belong to a loyalty program, and nearly 6x more if they are engaging with valuable offers.
Excentus provides flexible CPG-funded offer constructs that include cents-per-gallon fuel discounts, free items and rewards clubs, and product discounts. CPG brands can leverage Excentus’ direct-to-consumer communication channels through the Fuel Rewards program and other Excentus-supported retail programs.
In addition to offers and messaging, Excentus provides the data-driven tools that CPG brands need to compete in a highly competitive (and crowded) retail market, with detailed reporting to measure incremental sales volume and increased product visibility. Brands can segment and target customers based on their interactions, spending patterns, cross-brand purchases and other preferences. Brands can also layer on geographic data to target campaigns nationally or by region and conduct competitor analysis and customer lifetime value analysis.
Further information about the company’s solutions for CPG manufacturers is available by calling 305-749-5342.
Tanknology largest company in the world devoted to compliance solutions for petroleum systems. If you operate an underground or an aboveground petroleum fueling system, you are no doubt governed by multiple environmental regulations. In our blog, we discuss topics of interest to our industry community; whether it be a regulatory development, our take on breaking industry news, news from our company, or anything else we believe may be of interest the tank compliance community. We hope you will join us in the conversation.
It was a big day for Amber Martinez. She was to appear as the maid of honor in her sister-in-law’s wedding. While running a few last minute errands, she decided to roll through the carwash. Partway through the tunnel, Amber felt a bump, then another bump and thought, “Oh, no! Am I getting hit?”