Businesses have been adding new features like ultraviolet light cleaning to offices. Now, it could be coming to vehicles in response to COVID-19 concerns.
A third of car shoppers say they're more likely to consider air quality features for their next vehicle than before the pandemic, according to a survey from Cox Automotive.
“Historically, I think people had this conception of if it looks clean, it must be clean right, but now going forward, the question is well it looks clean but is it sanitized?” said Pratik Patel, President of RideKleen. “And I think for people to feel safe getting into the car, knowing that OK there was some process of sanitization or some cleaning process that could protect them from bacteria and viruses is going to be important going forward.”
Car companies are looking into systems like including a fixed UV light that would provide sanitization treatment while you're inside. The feature could also be integrated into the car's air conditioning system, so as the air circulates, it would continuously sanitize.
“I would be shocked if car makers are not thinking about this for the future,” said Patel. “It doesn't exist today, so right now it is really third parties implementing either it's a service or a component that's added onto the vehicle.”
Patel points out ride share vehicles are especially a concern with the number of people getting in and out of them frequently, and the cars not necessarily being disinfected between each customer. Car companies are working on a proactive way to deal with that.