Ford has taken the automotive world by surprise by revealing that it has developed a new technology that raises the vehicles’ internal temperature to more than 133 degrees Fahrenheit to kill traces of coronaviruses or other pathogens that traditional methods of disinfection may leave behind. For now, the device system is accessible only on some 176,000 hybrid patrols on the Explorer side. It uses the engine and climate control system of the SUV to lift cabin temperatures to 133 degrees Fahrenheit and keep them warm for 15 minutes or so.
That time, Ford claims, when manually cleaning is enough to disinfect even the tiniest nooks and crannies of human control. Of example, the procedure involves passengers (patrollers) to vacate the car before turning on the device so a sequence of blinking lights will let you know the technology is doing its job. In the United States in particular, police officers are at high risk for COVID-19 infection because, when ambulances are not available, they are often forced to carry these patients to hospital. Ford worked with Ohio State University in this project to test the efficacy of the patrol program in the states of New York , California, Michigan, Massachusetts, Ohio and Florida.
“Our experiments with Ford show that exposure of coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit decreases the viral concentration for 15 minutes by more than 99 per cent on the internal surfaces and materials used in patrols,” reported the Supervisors of the Microbiology Department at Ohio State, Jahness and Jesse Kwiek in a statement.
When this heat-intensive sanitization method is used in conjunction with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC) guidelines, flooding the passenger compartment with an elevated air temperature may help reach difficult areas. “Heat has the potential to creep into the nooks and hard-to-reach regions, helping to may the effect of human error in chemical disinfectant application,” read their argument. As for the possibility that this technology could reach other vehicles, such as buses and taxis, Ford said that it does not plan to go beyond police patrols.
Although it is new software, all Ford Explorer models from 2013 to 2019 are equipped with the necessary physical components, so they only need access to the script designed by the manufacturer for heat disinfection activation.