JLR Plans Infection-Free Cabin Space

Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) has revealed it’s looking into ways to protect occupants of its cars from catching a bug from fellow passengers.

Its experiments center around using ultra-violet light technology (UV-C) to stop the spread of bacteria and superbugs in future models. UV-C has been used in the medical industry for more than seventy years to kill harmful pathogens, sterilizing the area while, when used appropriately, causing no side effects or injuries to humans. The shortwave light, operating at a wavelength of 200–280 nanometers, destroys microorganisms nucleic acids and disrupts their DNA, leaving them unable to function.

JLR hopes UV-C can be used in the air conditioning of its luxury vehicles, with the pathogens exposed to the UV light before it gets close to anyone in the car. Clean, sterilized air will then be released into the cabin. This is an effort from the automaker to create a ‘tranquil sanctuary’ inside its cars. Across its range of models, including the latest Range Rover and all-electric I-PACE, the latest generation of its climate control system already claims to neutralize pathogens by using high voltage to negatively charge trillions of ions coated in water molecules. The ions deactivate pathogens, then form larger particles which are brought back into the filter.

Dr Steve Iley, JLR 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 utilize cars for administering preventative healthcare. It offers clear advantages in reducing pathogen spread – protecting the overall population from the threat of disease, particularly as we move towards shared mobility solutions.”

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