SAN FRANCISCO, May 20 — Whether for protection from pollution or viruses, or to reassure passengers in the event of long trips or carpooling, car users are becoming increasingly aware of the quality of the air inside vehicles. Manufacturers have understood this, and are stepping up their efforts to offer solutions.

The latest in line is Volvo, which recently unveiled its sophisticated new air purification technology, designed to meet the needs of all those who suffer from allergies and asthma or are sensitive to air pollution. The idea is that all passengers of these future models will benefit from clean air to breathe during their entire journey.

This air purification system (CleanZone Advanced) will soon be offered as an option for new models in the automaker's 60 and 90 series. It promises to remove up to 99.9% of grass, tree and herbaceous pollen allergens from incoming air. More generally, this solution will also remove up to 95 per cent of PM2.5 fine particles, including most airborne viruses, thanks to a synthetic fibre filter and an ionization process.

Moreover, the majority of models leaving Volvo's factory today are equipped with a pollen level and outdoor air quality indicator, which can be seen on the vehicle's central screen.

But Volvo is far from being the only manufacturer introducing this kind of technology. Last year, Hyundai released news of a completely different air purification system, directly inspired by the aeronautics industry and the sophisticated air flow management systems installed onboard aircraft. In addition, an ultraviolet radiation sterilization system is activated once passengers exit the vehicle. Sterilisation lamps are then used to eliminate bacteria and potential viruses from the cabin, including the control stick, the first row seat storage drawer and the speakers.

As such, the air we breathe in the cars of the future looks set to be cleaner than ever. — ETX Studio