Amidst COVID-19 outbreak, the automotive industry is doing marvels. This time around Ford has decided to bring the protective gear into their Police Interceptor Utility vehicles.
They are using the fact that SARS-CoV-2 cannot survive under certain high temperatures, to sanitize their vehicles. They started working on this idea somewhere in late March. They worked with several research institutes to figure out the optimum temperature at which the maximum virus causing pathogens dissipate.
Ford realized that they can heat up the cabin to that particular temperature for sanitization, reducing the risk of police officers from catching the virus. This is done by utilizing the heat produced from the cooling system, particularly from the hot coolant of the vehicle. For the model year 2016, the sanitization can be enabled by pressing the cruise control button a certain number of times. Once the process is initiated, the idling rpm of the vehicle would increase and the cabin would heat up to 133 degrees Fahrenheit in 15 minutes. While the process is underway, the vehicle will flash the lights in a certain pattern to warn those who are nearby. Afterward, the cabin is cooled again and the vehicle is ready for its next shift. Police officers are advised to sanitize their vehicles at the end of their duty while leaving the vehicle. This process neutralizes 99% of viral contaminates, even in places that are hard to reach.
This sanitization process could be enabled by a new software update and it is available for the Ford Police Interceptor Utility vehicles manufactured between 2013 and 2019.
Ford is not the only automotive company that has pondered over sanitizing their vehicles. Honda Odyssey happens to be another vehicle that offers easy to use cabin sanitization. However, instead of heating up the cabin, the van utilizes pressure zones. But this might not be as efficient as Ford’s way of fighting the virus since it only protects the front seat passengers.