I found a new use for my radar/laser detector: detecting instances of Audi's Q7 SUV. This feature made itself known last night while I was driving on the highway (with the flow of traffic, of course) when my electronic co-pilot lit up like a Christmas tree on the Vegas strip, wrapped in rope lights.
A quick Googling of the situation showed that Audi's blind-spot monitoring system, side assist, uses K-band radar to detect nearby cars that you might miss when changing lanes. So my detector was doing its job, just not when I wanted it to. Better safe than sorry, I guess.
Who knew other cars could confuse detectors? Apparently, people all over the Internet. After a few more Google searches, I've compiled a list of vehicles that reportedly fool radar and laser detectors:
Chevy TrailBlazer/GMC Envoy/Buick Rainier/Oldsmobile Bravada - Their third brake lights use red neon and trick detectors into thinking they're seeing laser.
Infiniti FX, QX, G and Lexus LS - The laser cruise control systems in these cars actually use laser beams to measure distance, so it's no surprise that they make the little black box go beep.
BMW 3-series convertible; - The taillights on these models reportedly give off the right kind of light, like the GM SUVs, to set off laser detectors.
I also learned that the laser cruise control systems can upset detectors within vehicles so equipped. So you may want to take your detector of choice along for a test drive before you make your next purchase.
Do you know of any other vehicles that cause false positives? Let us know in the comments.