UVC lighting in a car could prevent the spread of the germs that cause colds and flu. At least that is a theory being explored by Jaguar Land Rover. It is introducing ultraviolet light into the air conditioning units in its future models in a bid to kill superbugs and protect drivers and passengers from exposure to the germs.
According to reports about the news project, including that of the Mail Online, “UV lights have been used in the medical world for more than 70 years and is effective at killing pathogens – including bacteria and viruses.” The process involves high energy rays from the UV light that sterilise the contents of the air conditioning system before it is pumped around the car’s cabin, reducing the risk of infection.
This type of technology is already used for disinfecting water, filtering air and sterilising surfaces, but it has never been used before in cars.
However, as healthcare and the wellbeing of the driver and passengers is a growing priority for Jaguar Land Rover, it appears to be a natural progression. Its current heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems, which are available in the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and Range Rover Sport, uses high voltage to manipulate air particles. Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover Chief Medical Officer, said: “The average motorist spends as much as 300 hours per year behind the wheel. There is a clear opportunity to better utilise cars for administering preventative healthcare.”
Immunology expert, Dr Hellmut Münch, CEO at Medical Enzyme Research Association, added: “The rise of superbugs and allergens is one of the largest threats we face as a species today. Investment in immunology is vital in ensuring that our immune systems stay ahead of the race against microorganisms, which are evolving far quicker than traditional pharmaceuticals can keep pace with. It is important that we continue to take an innovative look at how we can adapt our environment to help prevent the spread of the most harmful pathogens – which is why this research is paramount.”
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