A new heated software enhancement designed by Ford and tested in its Police Interceptor Utility apparently helps reduce the footprint of the COVID-19 virus inside vehicles.

The software solution temporarily raises interior temperatures beyond 133 degrees Fahrenheit (56 degrees Celcius) for 15 minutes to help reduce the viral concentration inside the vehicle by greater than 99 per cent.

Photo: Supplied

Once activated, the vehicle’s powertrain and climate control systems work together automatically to increase temperatures inside the cabin. The software warms up the engine to an elevated level, and both heat and fan settings operate on high. The software automatically monitors interior temperatures until the entire passenger compartment hits the optimal level, then that temperature is maintained for 15 minutes.

Ford worked with The Ohio State University to determine the temperature range and time needed to help reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus; additionally, Ford conducted software operational trials with vehicles owned by the New York City Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and others.

Photo: Supplied

“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.

However, before you conclude leaving your car parked out under the sun in Dubai during summer months will have the same effect, note that Ford says this method is to be used in conjunction with other sanitisation guidelines approved by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention!