Do you ever have to confront yourself first thing in the morning when you climb in your car? What’s that? You left yesterday’s 7-Eleven pizza lunch in your Volvo S90 and it smells? Well, worry no more—the automaker has designed a new air quality control system that will freshen your car before you ever have to get in.
Developed, in part, with the Chinese market in mind specifically, Volvo has developed a new air filtration system for the S60 and S90 sedan, long-wheelbase and wagon variants, as well as the XC60 and XC90 crossovers. So far, that means the Advanced Air Cleaner technology will be available on every car built on the Volvo Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), including the Polestar 1, according to its owner’s manual.
From the Volvo press release:
Indicating the amount of fine particulate matters in the air, PM 2.5 is a widely-used measure for air quality. Globally, many urban areas suffer from PM 2.5 values that exceed recommended levels by the World Health Organisation, underlining the need to minimise their impact.
Available on all 90 and 60 Series Volvo models based on the Scalable Product Architecture (SPA) since this spring, the Advanced Air Cleaner cleans out fine particulate matters from the cabin. Thanks to a synthetic fibre-based filter and ionisation, up to 95 per cent of all PM 2.5 particles are kept out of the cabin.
For some context, Wired has previously reported that a particle of plant pollen “might have a diameter of 10 microns, which a molecule of cooking gas has a diameter of 2.5 microns.”
If you have kids in an XC60, this is probably a game-changer. I just worry I would then fail to detect actual messes without having to scan my vehicle like a school bus driver at the end of their shift every time we come home.
Just schedule your car to purge when you get home and again before you leave in the morning, and you can start leaving even more trash in your six-figure luxury crossover! Or just show up to work feeling better than you will the rest of the day, as you shuffle into your dust-infested workplace.
Drivers of relevant Volvo models can also use the Volvo On Call smartphone app (where available) to easily schedule an extra cleaning of the cabin air ahead of their journey. The app then tells drivers about the actual PM 2.5 levels inside the cabin after cleaning.
I looked it up and based on those Wired numbers, that PM 2.5 level would mean that a good chunk of the burp, breath, and butt particulates (which are typically pretty wet, which means they’re not small) emitted naturally from the beautiful human body would be filtered out efficiently by the system. According to multiple product reviews, farting near a P.M 2.5 sensor will in fact trigger it.
Everybody should be thinking a lot about the air they’re breathing right now, and hopefully wearing a mask and taking maximum precaution to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. I don’t think Volvo’s research and development team saw the pandemic coming and got ready.
Rather, the writing has been on the wall for our cities’ diminishing air quality for decades. It’s depressing that modern cars have started to feature air-purifying options as a further luxury, but I’d bet it becomes fairly standard in the next decade.