Covid-19: Can cars protect you from this deadly virus?
Pandemics have been threatening the human race for ages and today Covid-19 is one such disease. With the Covid-19 global outbreak, we are employing ways of protecting ourselves. One such measure that already has or is about to become a routine part of our lives in the near future will be social distancing. The key principle is trying to reduce human interaction to slow down the spread of the virus. Without any doubt, the question that arises is if we can harness the power of technology to reduce human-to-human interaction and remain efficient and continue our day-to-day activities?
Today, technological companies are working on innovations that can be effective in preventing the spread of pathogens and the disease. Certainly, the outbreak of deadly coronavirus has made automakers focus on ways to stop the spread of the disease and keep their cars safer.
Here, we list technologies that will play a vital role in keeping us safe in cars and can soon be a part of the standard feature sets of new cars.
Cabin Air Filtration System
Just as we need our surrounding air at our homes or offices to be clean similarly the air inside the car needs to be clean as well. Yes, today we need a car that has a cabin air filtration system so that breathing inside enclosed spaces like cars is safer. Elon Musk introduced this feature with the Tesla Model X. Tesla’s Model X had an inbuilt car air filtration system that not only purifies the cabin air but also filters the bacteria, allergens, smog and also air-borne viruses. “It is just a button, a real bioweapon defence mode button,” said Elon Musk while revealing the technology and says is 10x better than the normal air-filtration systems. Since the global Coronavirus pandemic has cost us hundreds of thousands of lives, a technology that helps clean the air in a car’s cabin is welcome.
Ultraviolet light technology
We’ve been taught that ultraviolet light is bad and needs to be filtered before we come in direct contact with it. But UV rays in a certain way can be helpful, especially in getting rid of micro-organisms. Interestingly, JLR considered using this technology and introduced the use of UV-C technology that helps in eliminating the bacteria and harmful pathogens from its cabin. The Jaguar I-PACE and Range Rover Sport are expected to get this feature as an option in these cars.
The concept of connected cars will become an even more significant feature in the automotive world as we gradually start the journey back to normalcy. There will be a gradual rise in demand to integrate health system devices like wearables and smartphones to the cars to ensure the well being of the driver and passengers. Continental offers this technology as it helps to prevent the spread of the virus as some basic factors behind this feature will be to provide information and alerts about hotspot areas, nearest hospitals, testing centres and other healthcare facilities. Seamless navigation is already existing as a feature in existing connected cars but offering other technologies like 3D and a head-up display will make the effort more intuitive and lessen the human to human interaction.
Remote Diagnostics and Updates
Cars and bikes need to be serviced periodically. Looking at the modern-day vehicles, in the near future, their servicing could mean updating the software of the vehicle as well. As a result, remote diagnostics is another innovative technology from Continental that can help us provide an optimal solution for this. It will send periodic updates to the service centre or the user about the state of the vehicle and required repairs and more. Remote diagnostics can be invaluable in fleet management as well. This can significantly reduce how many people come in contact with each other.
Intelligent Vehicle Door
This is another innovative technology from Continental that allows the use of a smartphone or device to act as a virtual key for functions that help to unlock, lock, start, provide liftgate access, mobilization authorization and zone functions. For example, the Renault Triber has the impactless door unlock/lock feature which is so beneficial that if you have your hands full with the shopping or grocery bags you don’t need to hassle to take the key out of your pockets and unlock the car, the technology does it all. This technology enables the user for a hands-free operation which is hugely important to keep us protected from the transmission of disease.
Delivering goods and parcels to residential areas is a growing and dynamic market. Automated delivery of goods will be an integral part of goods delivery in the future. Continental’s CUbE (Continental Urban Mobility Experience) technology can work with one or multiple delivery robots and deploy them to handle the last-mile delivery of goods. The seamless integration of a driverless vehicle in this scenario and CUbE as a carrier alongside a delivery robot present will make it more effective and efficient in the distribution of goods.
Now surface materials do not reduce human contact but there are innovations developed within surface technologies that do play an important role in reducing the exposure to various germs, fungi and bacterias. Continental advanced has developed various sustainable solutions that facilitate the same. Its technology - the Acella Eco range - has special anti-static coatings and other innovations that resist bacteria and germ contamination, without the inclusion of additives that could pose a potential threat to one’s health.
Intelligent Air-Purification System
Geely, a renowned name in the Chinese automobile sector has claimed that the filtration system in its newly launched SUV- the Icon is N95 certified. "In response to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, Geely developed this technology which is a new Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS) that is N95 certified." The company claimed in a press statement that this technology is a highly efficient air purification system which works in tandem with the ICON’s air conditioner to isolate and eliminate harmful elements in the cabin air including bacteria and viruses which also is equipped in preventing the Covid-19 also.
What made us talk about these technologies? Well, the answer is the ongoing pandemic has created a lot of panic in the minds of people. People will be moving away from public transport and into private cars, but will also want every possible precaution to be in place. Although manufacturers have brought in services like sanitisation of car. Real safety is when the car is clean or the air is cleaner to breathe. To help us get through these difficult times, technology can be mighty helpful.