HAY FEVER BE GONE: Ford has introduced a new air filtration system that blocks almost all nitrogen dioxide – a key trigger of asthma – gaseous pollutants and odours and as much as 99% of pollen. Image: Shutterstock
AACHEN, Germany – Did you know that sneezing while driving at 95km/h may result in you “driving blind” for 20 metres? Thought not...
So, Ford has introduced to its vehicles a new air filtration system that blocks almost all nitrogen dioxide – a key trigger of asthma – gaseous pollutants and odours and as much as 99% of pollen.
The technology is a breath of fresh air for driver and passengers.
During testing, Ford found that concentrations of nitrogen dioxide and particle concentrations inside the car were equal to or lower than was the case outside the car in rural locations – even when test vehicles were driven in the city, on the motorway, in traffic jams and through tunnels.
Advanced air filtration is among a range of Ford innovations designed to make journeys safer, smarter, and more comfortable by enhancing the driver's sensory experience. Ford European Research and Innovation Centre, Aachen, Germany, which celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2015, is where many of these advanced innovations first see the light of day.
Ken Washington, vice-president of Ford Research and Advanced Engineering, said: “At Ford, we aspire to improve people’s lives through innovation, whether it be advanced lighting technologies that better highlight potential dangers or an advanced filtration system that pumps ultra clean air into the vehicle’s cabin."
AIR QUALITY SENSOR
The new air filtration system introduced in the all-new Mondeo, S-MAX and Galaxy utilises activated charcoal – similar to advanced gas masks, respirators, and spacesuits.
The air quality sensor detects carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels outside the car and shuts down incoming air. As required, it also automatically switches on the advanced filtration and air recirculation. The new filter is 50% more effective than its predecessor at blocking ultra-fine particles that are more than one thousand times smaller than the width of a human hair.
More than a quarter of Europeans suffer from hay fever and sufferers are a third more likely to be involved in a collision.
Volker Scheer, Ford Europe's technical expert for the environment and health, said: “Ford’s filtration technology is of a quality one would only usually expect in luxury cars.
"The team test-drove vehicles in areas of heavy congestion and concentrated pollution, among them tunnels and urban areas, to prove the system."