The Coronavirus pandemic has claimed more than 5,400 lives and infected over 1,45,000 people around the world. As doctors and medical experts struggle to find a cure for COVID-19, governments are imposing lockdowns and millions are isolating themselves from the outside world in order to avoid getting infected.
People are even scared to drive around in their vehicles due to concerns that the germs could enter the car's cabin through the air vents. Chinese car manufacturer, Geely, who also owns Volvo, has come up with a solution to this problem. The company has released its new Icon SUV with an in-built air filtration system that can combat COVID-19.
N-95 certified air filtration system
Geely's Icon SUV comes equipped with the company's Intelligent Air Purification System (IAPS) and works in tandem with the car's air-conditioning system to isolate and eliminate harmful bacteria and virus that make their way into the car's cabin.
Geely claims that the technology was developed "in response to the new Coronavirus epidemic, in record time." The technology is N95 certified, which means it's capable of filtering out 95 percent of particles measuring 0.3 micrometres diameter. The COVID-19 virus measures about 0.06 to 0.14 micrometres in size and is likely to be filtered out by the system.
Although Geely's IAPS technology does not kill the virus, it does prevent it from spreading. Most in-car air filtration systems are only good enough to get rid of pollutants like dust or particulate matter and are available in a majority of vehicles these days. However, dealing with germs and viruses requires a special kind of air purifying technology, which Geely claims to have in its upcoming offering.
Killing bacteria using UV light
Some luxury carmakers like Jaguar-Land Rover are also working on developing air purifying systems that employ low-intensity ultraviolet light beams called UV-C to kill any germs or viruses that pass through the vents.
Hospitals use UV-C lighting to sterilize equipment as it is effective in eliminating pathogens, bacteria and viruses present in the air. There are third-party air filters that use UV-C to decontaminate the air that passes through the vents and these would prove be more effective in the battle against the deadly coronavirus.