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New Mondeo could prevent “Driving Blind” after sneezing


Ford is introducing on the all-new Mondeo a new air filter system that will offer relief to people with allergies.

Trying to cope with a sneezing attack can be a source of amusement for passengers – and a source of discomfort for drivers. But there’s a serious side. Climate change and pollution now contribute to increasing numbers of people suffering from allergies, and sneezing at a speed of 95 km/h may result in “driving blind” for up to 20 metres.

On the all-new Mondeo Ford is now introducing a new air filtration system that blocks up to 99 per cent of pollen, almost all nitrogen dioxide – a key trigger of asthma – as well as gaseous pollutants and odours.

“Fresh air may not be as immediately apparent to drivers as how a car looks, or how it drives, but it is an important part of the quality experience delivered by Ford cars that will be equipped with the new filter,” said Volker Scheer, technical expert, Environment and Health, Ford of Europe. “The new filter is 50 per cent more effective than its predecessor at blocking ultra-fine particles that are less than one thousandth of the width of a human hair.”

Developed by engineers from Ford’s European Research Centre in Aachen, Germany, the new filtration system is constructed from activated charcoal – similar to advanced gas masks, respirators, and spacesuits – and offers a considerably larger surface area. The air quality sensor detects carbon monoxide and nitrogen dioxide levels outside the car and shuts down incoming air. As required, it also automatically switches on the advanced filtration and air recirculation.

“The team drove test vehicles in areas of heavy congestion and concentrated pollution, such as tunnels, as well as deep into the countryside,” Scheer said. “The resulting filtration technology is of a quality one would only usually expect in ultra-luxury cars. It also is much more durable, the replacement interval for the advanced filter system with the all-new Mondeo will be two-years/30,000 kilometres – almost twice that of its predecessor.”

The technology will particularly benefit hay fever sufferers – more than a quarter of all Europeans. Research has identified that an attack of hay fever, while driving, may impair the affected driver to a degree that is comparable to a blood alcohol level of 0.04 per cent, close to the legal limit in most European countries. Sufferers are a third more likely to be involved in a collision.

The all-new Mondeo on sale now in New Zealand offers a leading filtration system, alongside further new technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection.

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