Cars and trucks can do a lot of things these days, and soon they may be able to stop the spread of superbugs. Jaguar Land Rover is working on using ultraviolet light technology (UV-C) in its vehicles’ air conditioning systems to kill bacteria and viruses.
The medical industry has been using UV-C for over 70 years. It’s currently used to disinfect water, filter air, and sterilize surfaces to prevent the spread of pathogens.
The automaker’s plan is to incorporate UV-C into the air conditioning system by breaking down pathogens and neutralizing them with wavelengths of light. Then clean air will be cycled into the cabin. It’s believed the technology could stop the spread of superbugs.
Jaguar Land Rover is working to build “tranquil” sanctuaries in its luxury vehicles. The UV-C technology is just one part of the company’s goal to focus on well being in anticipation of the proliferation of autonomous vehicles.
The typical driver spends as many as 300 hours in a car each year, and preventative healthcare is just one-way automakers can improve a person’s quality of life, noted Jaguar Land Rover chief medical officer Dr. Steve Iley. He added that the UV-C feature will become even more important as society increasingly relies on shared mobility options.
The automaker’s HVAC systems in the new all-electric Jaguar I-PACE and Range Rover Sport are currently working to neutralize pathogens. The system features four-zone climate control and cabin air ionization that work to deactivate pathogens, odour, and allergens.
Medical research suggests UV-C can slash the spread of four major superbugs (MRSA, vancomycin-resistant enterococci (VRE), C. difficile and Acinetobacter) by as much as 30 percent, according to the automaker.
Microorganisms are evolving so fast that it’s becoming increasingly challenging for traditional pharmaceuticals to deal with them.
“The rise of superbugs and allergens is one of the largest threats we face as a species today,” commented immunology expert Dr. Hellmut Münch, CEO at Medical Enzyme Research Association.
“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.”
There are other ways to stop the spread of a cold and flu when you’re not in your car:
- Get the flu vaccine.
- Wash your hands with soap and water frequently, particularly before you eat and after you use the restroom.
- If you’re taking care of someone who is sick, wash your hands before and after you’re with them.
- If you’re unable to wash your hands, use a sanitizer that is at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Spray disinfect on various surfaces in your house, including TV remotes, computers, and doorknobs.
- Use paper towels instead of cloth towels when someone in your house is sick.
- Try to avoid people who are sick.
- Do not go out or to work when you’re sick.