May 29, 2020

Ford Brings New Smart Tech to Disinfect Police Utility Vehicles by Roasting Them

Ford helps keep police officers safe by implementing a software solution that disinfects Police Interceptor Utility vehicles by turning up the heat.

For sure nothing survives being roasted in extreme heat for 15 minutes inside an enclosed metal structure. Not even the arrogant novel coronavirus, or COVID-19 as it is often referred to. And so American giant motor company Ford has come up with a roasting system of disinfecting its Police Interceptor Utility vehicles to keep law enforcers protected from the virus. The system comes in the form of a software solution that's been rolled out to all 2013-2019 models of the said police vehicle models in North America and some other countries worldwide.

Apparently, Ford has been busy not only with innovations and technology that are performance-specific, but also with software that its vehicles can use to fight off the deadly pandemic. The automotive giant collaborated with Ohio State University in finding out the range of temperature and the duration of exposure needed to diminish the spread of the virus, as it is a known fact heat can penetrate hard-to-reach areas, crevices and tiny cracks that chemical disinfectants cannot reach. The heat-disinfecting process introduced by Ford in its police cruisers is not intended to replace the current disinfectants though, but merely a supplemental protection measure.

When installed in the police utility vehicle, the software can activate the temperature to a very hot 56-degrees Celsius that will last for 15 minutes. According to the automaker, this process will help reduce viral concentration on surfaces and every nook and cranny by almost a hundred percent. Before rolling out the solution, operational trials were first done by Ford using the vehicles of U.S. police departments such as the NYPD and the LAPD.

The software solution comes with progress-monitoring notification system so that police officers can check the status of the heat disinfecting process. Preset lighting pattern from the hazard lamps and taillamps will flash to signify that the sanitizing process has begun and will change completely when the process has been completed. The vehicle's instrument panel will also the progress. Once the disinfection is finished, a cooling-down process will begin so that the heat will dissipate from the passenger compartments.

The disinfection system can be activated by the Police Interceptor Utility vehicle users whenever they are not inside. As the process takes only 15 minutes, they can do this regularly without delaying their daily work or schedule. Being front liners, police officers are often at risk of contracting the virus, especially after interacting with multitudes of people some of whom could have been infected by COVID-19. Having this smart vehicle technology in their Ford patrol vehicles gives them and their families less worry about contracting the pathogen.

Ford is working on more ways to bring the capability of its software solution to other Ford-built police vehicles. Whether it will innovate on this technology to bring it to personal vehicles remains to be seen.