According tomedia reports, Ford has come up with a way to kill the new coronavirus on the vehicle. The company has developed a self-cleaning mode for the police interceptor version of the “oven” to purify the carriages. Ford said the new system will raise hVAC to a temperature sufficient to kill the new coronavirus. Ford says it will be a more efficient process and use fewer chemicals than a traditional disinfection process.
Studies of the duration of the COVID-19 virus on different surfaces have shown that it can stay for hours or days. This is particularly problematic when dealing with a shared vehicle, such as ford police SUVs that Ford Motor Co. sells to law enforcement agencies across the United States.
The system Ford came up with was simple. When an SUV is not carrying a passenger, the heating can be raised far beyond the usual limit for passenger comfort. In fact, it can raise the temperature inside the cabin to more than 133 degrees Fahrenheit (56 degrees Celsius). Ford says the entire process of more than 15 minutes should be enough to reduce the virus concentration by more than 99 percent.
The automaker has teamed up with Ohio State University to find the best combination of temperature and time. Importantly, it doesn’t necessarily require new hardware: in fact, Ford says, the software involved can be retrofitted to all 2013-2019 police interceptors in North America and other countries. The software can be installed either by the police department’s own service center or by a local dealer.
Older models need to be switched on through the SUV’s diagnostic port, while the 2016 and newer models can actually activate the system through a series of cruise control buttons. The engine heats up to a certain extent and then the heating and fan settings are raised to a high level. The thermometer in the carrier will ensure that the correct temperature is reached and then remain there. At the same time, outside the vehicle, the hazard and taillights flash in a pre-set mode to show the status of the cleaning process. The cooling phase will help to reduce the internal temperature to a comfortable level.
“Our research with Ford Motor Company shows that exposing the new coronavirus to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes can reduce the concentration of the virus on the interior surface and material spree of the police interceptor by more than 99 percent,” said Jeff Jahnes and Jesse Kwiek, laboratory director of the Department of Microbiology at Ohio State University. “
So far, there is no indication that Ford may be releasing a similar system for its consumer vehicles.