"We'll continue to work with our agencies and get their feedback on how well it works and look at how we adjust if need be in the future", he stated.
The software fix engages the vehicle's powertrain to run at a higher idle level, according to the Detroit Free Press, with the climate control system transferring the excess heat into the cabin.
Ford's solution for killing the COVID-19 is to heat the interior of PIU vehicles to 133 degrees Fahrenheit for a period of 15 minutes. The software will use the car's ventilation system to bring the temperature inside up to 133 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. The auto measures the cabin temperature, and once it hits 56 degrees, it maintains that for 15 minutes.
Ford worked closely with the Ohio State University to determine the temperature and time duration necessary to help inactivate the COVID-19 virus, which is how the institution determined the aforementioned figures.
Once initiated, the process displays a notification on the dashboard and flashes the vehicle's lights in a pre-set pattern to notify those nearby that the sanitation process has begun. When the tech is activated, the auto will flash its hazard lights to warn that it's in operation, changing the flashing pattern to indicate when the baking process has been completed. This information will also be shown on the instrument cluster. A cool-down process brings the temperature down so there is no frying of posterior on re-entering the auto.
Ford, the largest supplier of police vehicles, hopes its sanitization method helps reduce the spread of the virus.
This heating process, of course, sanitizes the vehicles when officers are not inside and, according to Ford, the heat has the ability to seep into crevices and hard-to-reach areas, meaning it reduces human error in applying chemical disinfectants.
Ford says it's already conducted trials with vehicles owned by the New York City Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department and others.
Ford said officers should still be sterilising their vehicles in addition to using the new heat method. "During one trip, officers may be transporting a coronavirus patient to a hospital, while another trip may involve an occupant who may be asymptomatic". "This virus is an invisible enemy and we are proud to provide a solution to help the law enforcement community fight it".
Ford is providing the software to police departments for free, but there may be a small charge for a dealer to install it. The company is now investigating expanding the technology to other police vehicles. For 2016-2019 models, the software can be automatically integrated by pressing the cruise control buttons in a specific order.
"Vehicles from the 2013 to 2019 model years make up the majority of Police Interceptor Utility vehicles now in use by first responders", says Stephen Tyler, police brand marketing manager for Ford.
"Delivering this new capability to these vehicles first allows us to help as many officers as possible, as quickly as possible".