Car News

Jaguar Land Rover Looking at Virus-Stopping Air Con Tech

Jaguar's latest tech could help get rid of what the cat dragged in. The company is developing new in-car tech it says could help stop the spread of the cold, flu, and other little bad bugs.

The company says that it believes it could help stop the spread of bacteria and viruses using the car's ventilation system. But it's not by just adding another filter that would need to be replaced.

The new system would use UV-C light. Ultraviolet light technology has been used in the medical industry for more than 70 years, Jaguar Land Rover says. It's currently used to disinfect water, filter air, and sterilize surfaces. It uses light that ranges in wavelength from 200 to 280 nanometers: about half the lowest wavelength of light that's visible to the eye.

The bugs would be exposed to the UV-C light inside the air conditioning system, where the light breaks down the molecular structure of the pathogens, JLR says. That sends cleaner air into the cabin.

Research into the tech is part of the company's look at creating "a tranquil sanctuary" in the cabin of its vehicles. The automaker is looking at other driver and passenger well-being features as part of it.

"The implementation of individual well-being measures as part of our ‘tranquil sanctuary’ research promises to not only improve quality of life for our customers but in this case, offers clear advantages in reducing pathogen spread – protecting the overall population from the threat of disease; particularly as we move towards shared mobility solutions," said JLR Chief Medical Officer Dr. Steve Iley. If you're going to be sharing your car with others, you might not want to share everything with the other users.

Jaguar says that the UV-C tech could cut transmission of four superbugs, including MRSA and C. difficile, by 30 percent. While that highlight is still under development, Jaguar Land Rover has something available now to help clean the cabin. The company's four-zone climate control with cabin air ionization uses high-voltage to create negatively charged ions in the air that combine with pathogens (and odour particles) to let them be caught in a conventional filter.