Loudoun County is known for being a cutting-edge center of technology when it comes to data centers, but soon, we could be known for cutting-edge technology when it comes to car washes too.

Construction has just started on Ashburn’s new $20 million Flagship Car Wash Center — a huge, indoor car wash that will feature the latest developments in the industry, including robots cleaning the inside of your car.

If anyone can pull it off, it’s the folks behind the project. Flagship currently has 10 car wash centers in the area — five in Virginia, four in Maryland and one in DC. Here’s how Guy Paolozzi, one of the partners in Flagship, describes the experience.

  • Guests will arrive and use an electronic kiosk to choose what type of service they want. There will be express washes, full service washes and even detailing available.

  • Drivers then pull their vehicles into one of two separate but identical “wet tunnels.” A flat conveyor belt will carry the car through the exterior washing phase.
  • At the end of the wet tunnel, drivers getting an express wash can pull out and leave, or stop at one of 25 free auto vacuum stations where they can vacuum out their vehicle.

  • If they are getting a full wash, the customer drives his or her vehicle onto one of three “dry belts.” Here they exit the auto and head into the lobby where they can observe their car throughout the interior cleaning.

Images: Flagship Car Wash

  • The dry belt will move the car along while the interior is cleaned. In most similar car washes, the interior is cleaned by a team of employees who vacuum, wipe down the steering wheel, the seats, the dashboard, etc. However, here’s where the technology gets really wild. Flagship has developed a patent pending system of robotic arms that will gently reach into your vehicle and do all the vacuuming, buffing, wiping, etc. When it launches, Paolozzi says it will be the first car wash like it in the world.
  • At the end of the dry belt, a QC — or quality control — employee will check to make sure the vehicle is spotless and then the customer returns and drives happily away.

The revolutionary system of conveyor belts and robots means no one other than you needs to start or move your car and it greatly reduces the number of people other than you in or around or touching your vehicle. In these times of heightened awareness due to the coronavirus, that could prove to be an attractive component of Flagship’s process.

The 65,000 s.f. Flagship Car Wash Center is being built directly across Loudoun County Parkway from One Loudoun, just north of the new Sunoco gas station that recently opened. It’s close to the intersection of LoCo Parkway and Russell Branch Parkway.

Construction crews have started clearing the land for the project that also includes a separate small retail center with roughly six units including one with a drive-thru lane. No tenants for the retail center have been announced yet.