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Ford Police Interceptors raising temps inside to 133 degrees to fight COVID-19

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Posted at 10:36 AM, May 27, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-27 10:36:15-04

(WXYZ) — Ford Motor Company has designed a new heated software enhancement for its police interceptor vehicles that will help reduce the footprint of the COVID-19 virus.

The company worked with Ohio State to determine the temperature range needed to reduce the spread of the virus.

According to Ford, the new software temporarily raises interior temperatures to more than 133 degrees Farenheit for 15 minutes to reduce the viral concentration inside the vehicle by greater than 99%.

“First responders are on the front lines protecting all of us. They are exposed to the virus and are in dire need of protective measures,” said Hau Thai-Tang, Ford chief product development and purchasing officer. “We looked at what’s in our arsenal and how we could step up to help. In this case, we’ve turned the vehicle’s powertrain and heat control systems into a virus neutralizer.”

When the system is activated, the vehicle's powertrain and climate control systems work together automatically to elevate passenger compartment temperatures.

“Our studies with Ford Motor Company indicate that exposing coronaviruses to temperatures of 56 degrees Celsius, or 132.8 degrees Fahrenheit, for 15 minutes reduces the viral concentration by greater than 99 percent on interior surfaces and materials used inside Police Interceptor Utility vehicles,” said Jeff Jahnes and Jesse Kwiek, laboratory supervisors at The Ohio State University department of microbiology.

Large police departments with their own service centers can install the software solution using their own diagnostic service tools. The software is available for 2013-19 Police Interceptor Utility Vehicles.

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