Through an upgrade to the software that controls the SUV Police Interceptor’s heating, Ford engineers could help reduce the spread of COVID-19

Ford knows that, like medical personnel, the police and security forces in the United States are exposed to the spread of coronavirus, which is why they have made a series of improvements in the heating system of all SUV´s Interceptor Police 2013-2019.

These adjustments have been made both in the United States, and in Canada and other countries, which will help reduce the risk of contagion from COVID-19, so reported Hau Thai-Tang, director of purchasing and product development at Ford.

The modification consists of converting both the propulsion system and the vehicle’s heat control systems into a virus neutralizer, that is, increasing the heat inside the vehicle until the viruses inside are eliminated.

Ford Police Interceptor SUV.
Credit: Courtesy Ford.

According to the Auto Motors portal, when using the heating and powertrain control systems of Police Interceptor UtilityThe solution allows the temperatures of the passenger compartment of the car to be raised more than 56 ° C for 15 minutes, long enough to disinfect the vehicle’s contact points.

Once activated, the vehicle’s powertrain and climate control systems automatically work together to raise passenger compartment temperatures. The software heats the motor to the level described, and both the heat and fan settings operate at high power.

The software also automatically monitors interior temperatures until the entire passenger compartment reaches optimum level, then that temperature is maintained for 15 minutes.

To investigate the effectiveness of this disinfection method, Ford He worked with specialists from Ohio State University to determine the temperature and length of time needed to help inactivate COVID-19.

Jeff Jahnes and Jesse Kwiek, laboratory supervisors in the microbiology department of the American academic institution, specify that the studies carried out together with personnel from Ford Motor CompanyThey indicate that exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by more than 99% on interior surfaces and materials used inside vehicles used by the Police Interceptor Utility.

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