How Ford Motor's latest tech is helping police vehicles kill the coronavirus

Andrew Cummings
May 31, 2020

Ford has used a little ingenuity to create a odd new way of sterilising cop cars in the USA in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Making the virus-killing software so instantly effective is that it uses the Police Interceptor Utility's normal engine and heating systems. "They are exposed to the virus and are in dire need of protective measures", "We've turned the vehicle's power train and heat control systems into a virus neutraliser".

The feature initially revs the engine to get it to an elevated level while both heat and fan settings operate on high.

The coronavirus pandemic has made disinfecting law enforcement vehicles a major issue for police departments.

But Ford, along with the rest of the U.S. auto industry, has also been focused on devising ways to help fight the coronavirus pandemic.

Officers are able to monitor progress safely from outside the vehicle. Using the vehicle's powertrain and climate control systems, the vehicle's interior is heated until viruses inside are inactivated.

The Ford Police Utility, a version of the Ford Explorer SUV, is now kitted out with the new software that raises the heat up to 56 degrees Celcius (133 degrees Fahrenheit) for 15 minutes.

That kills more than 99% of disease-causing germs. The auto will then start a cool-down sequence once finished to bring temperatures back down.

The Ford engineering team initiated a project in late March to de-contaminate vehicles using heat.

Field tested by the New York City Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Michigan State Police, Massachusetts State Police, Boardman Township Police Department and Seminole County Sheriff's Office, the software can and will be installed at department service centres and or through the relevant local dealership networks. "During one trip, officers may be transporting a coronavirus patient to a hospital, while another trip may involve an occupant who may be asymptomatic". The Blue Oval is now working to expand this technology to additional police vehicles in its fleet. "This virus is an invisible enemy and we are proud to provide a solution to help the law enforcement community fight it".

For now, the system functions for Police Utility SUVs, as these make up the vast majority of Ford's police vehicles. Police forces with large vehicle fleets can install the necessary software update themselves, while smaller departments can contact Ford dealers to perform the upgrade.

The software application is offered to all police divisions in the United States that utilize Ford PoliceUtilities For now, the system is just being used to Police Utility SUVs, Ford stated, due to the fact that they make up the bulk of Ford police lorries.

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