Motoring News

JLR going to war with threat of superbugs (not the VWs!)

  • Jaguar Land Rover hopes to kill bacteria and viruses
  • Vehicle aircon could neutralise pathogens
  • Ultra-violet ‘can help to kill major superbugs

CARS OF THE future could join humankind’s battle against superbugs by using the powerful muti of ultra-violet light and automobile ventilation systems.

Jaguar Land Rover says its coming models will battle the spread of human colds and flu using technology that has been used by the medical industry in which it has been used for more than 70 years.

JLR says bacteria and viruses (pathogens) sees the used of UV in its vehicles could with a process already in used for disinfecting water, filtering air and sterilising surfaces – light whose wavelength is between 200 and 280 nanometres – a billionth of a metre.


The 4×4 experts explained: ”Exposing pathogens to UV within the air-conditioning system will break down the molecular structure of the pathogen before the air reaches the cabin – and perhaps even defeat the scourge known as drug-resistant superbugs.”

How it works is shown in the image at the top of this Carman’s Corner feature…

Jaguar Land Rover has a vision of creating what it calls ”a tranquil sanctuary inside each of its luxury vehicles” as the day of the self-driving car looms.

READ MORE JLR features on Carman’s Corner

Dr Steve Iley, Jaguar Land Rover’s chief medical officer, told The Corner: “The average person spends as many as 300 hours a year at the wheel so theres a clear opportunity to administer preventative healthcare.

“The implementation of individual well-being measures as part of our ‘tranquil sanctuary’ research promises not only an improved quality of life for our customers but also, in this case, clear advantages in reducing pathogen spread – protecting the overall population from the threat of disease; particularly as we move towards shared mobility solutions.”


JLR is already trying to neutralise pathogens in its current (2019) heating and ventilation systems in the all-electric Jaguar I-Pace and the Range Rover Sport.

”Their four-zone aircon uses high voltage to create trillions of nano-sized negatively charged particles (ions) coated in water molecules. These, it says, kill pathogens and form larger particles which are removed from the air as they are brought back into the filter.

”The ions also act upon odour molecules and allergens.”

Iley added: “Infections is spread more easily during winter so it’s reassuring to know that, at least in your car, you can be confident that harmful pathogens are being neutralised.”


Recent medical trials have shown that ultra-violet could cut the transmission of four major superbugs by as much as 30%. Researchers focused on four drug-resistant organisms: MRSA, VRE (vancomycin-resistant enterococci), C. difficile and Acinetobacter.

Immunology expert Dr Hellmut Münch, CEO of the Medical Enzyme Research Association, said: “The rise of superbugs and allergens is one of the greatest threats we face as a species. Investment in immunology is vital to ensure human immune systems stay ahead of the race against micro-organisms.

”They’re evolving far quicker than traditional pharmaceuticals can keep pace with it is important that we continue to take an innovative look at how we can adapt our environment to help to prevent the spread of the most harmful pathogens.”

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