If you’ve followed Tesla’s journey into self-driving and futuristic cars, then you might have noticed that they feature HEPA filters in their AC system. Tesla isn’t the only one to work on minimizing the spread of germs inside their vehicles, though. With the Coronavirus reaching the entire world, manufacturers across the globe are seeking ways to thwart the spread of infectious disease.
Did you know that copper is capable of killing bacteria? Manufacturers are now looking to this metal as a solution for contact surfaces, such as door handles. Implementing new copper parts capable of resisting viruses could help to limit contamination and spreading.
Other possibilities include anti-viral materials in interiors. This would come in handy for the steering wheel, gear stick, and dashboard. While these won’t be made from copper, they could be made from anti-viral material or at least a coating.
Utilizing the Elements
Manufacturers are also looking to the elements for aid. Not all viruses can survive in the summer and winter months, making heat and cold allies in the fight against infection. It’s unclear how temperature could be used inside a car’s cabin, but utilizing it in the AC and heating systems is a possibility.
Ultraviolet light is also known to kill several types of pathogens. However, UV rays are harmful to people as well. So much so that some Tesla models feature a glass top as part of the body capable of offering UV protection to passengers. There could be a way to allow UV inside the cabin while a driver is outside the car, though, effectively sanitizing the interior.
Prior to the coronavirus, ridesharing and public transportation were at an all-time high. The use of shared bicycle and scooter platforms were booming as well. Now, people are reluctant to share close spaces or use a form of transportation that someone else has used.
This has some manufacturers looking at ways to make shared mobility, or larger cars and rideshare options like Uber, safer. This may include severe changes to the designs of SUVs and other multi-passenger vehicles. It could also simply mean a barrier between passengers, bypassing the 6-foot social distancing rule in favor of a protective screen.
Looking to the Future
While it’s unclear exactly how manufacturers plan to implement these changes, the coronavirus has caused them to rethink vehicle design in new cars. This comes with a lot of potential, but it also comes with the risks of experimentation.
New design features are notorious for recalls when they are not fully and properly tested, leading to many drivers buying a lemon. California lemon law attorneys try these cases at an alarming rate already, which means any changes need to be thoroughly researched and tested before implementation.
This is especially true when factoring in the deadly and viral nature of coronavirus, along with its many long-term complications for those who recover. Wherever this pandemic leads manufacturers, it’s going to take intense collaboration to ensure each measure works.