So admittedly, this new feature from Ford is specifically targeted at Police Interceptor SUVs that the company produces. The idea being, that between shifts, when cops would hand over their vehicles to the next guy, this will kill any COVID in the cabin.
How? Well, by simply running the powertrain at higher temps and then running it through the air-con, heating up the cabin, to the level where the virus can no longer function. Specifically, 133° F, which is about as hot as a sauna.
The update, which comes in a simple software form, gets the cabin up to that temperature in increments of 15 minutes, which is pretty impressive.
The update, which can be administered to all Interceptors made since 2013, has been in the works at Ford for the last two months. Their engineers worked with scientists from Ohio State University on this solution.
The New York City Police Department apparently contacted Ford looking for a disinfection protocol around that time, and now they have it coming their way. Ideally, it would be used in conjunction with other sanitation methods.
This will help to alleviate some of the concerns around arresting potentially asymptomatic offenders, who may contaminate the police vehicles en-route to the station.
The initiation process sounds like what you’d expect from a launch-control system, with a series of coded presses and sequences involving the cruise control. While running, the lights flash in a special way, and on some models the cluster shows a distinct message.
Now all we need is this for civilian cars.