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How the All-New Mondeo’s Advanced Air Filtration Could Prevent ‘Driving Blind’ After Sneezing at the Wheel

  • Ford is introducing on the all-new Mondeo a new air filter system that will offer relief to people with allergies, and respiratory conditions such as asthma and hayfever
  • Sneezing at a speed of 95 km/h (60 mph) can result in drivers – including an increasing numbers of allergy sufferers – “driving blind” for up to 20 metres
  • Hayfever sufferers alone – more than a quarter of Europeans – now cope with a pollen season that extends 10 months of the year, and are a third more likely to be in a collision
  • The Mondeo’s new filter system is 50 per cent more effective than its predecessor at blocking ultra-fine particles, and filters almost all pollen and nitrogen dioxide
  • Comparable to technology found in ultra-luxury cars, system will deliver best-in-segment filtration on Mondeo and be made available on further vehicles including the all-new S-MAX

COLOGNE, Germany, Oct. 30, 2014 – 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 (60 mph) may result in “driving blind” for up to 20 metres.*

Ford in Europe is now introducing on the all-new Mondeo 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 hayfever sufferers – more than a quarter of all Europeans.** Research has identified that an attack of hayfever, 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.****

“Climate change and increasing pollution levels mean that allergy sufferers are now facing a longer season, from January to October,” said Uwe Berger, head of pollen research, Medical University of Vienna, who also coordinates that offers real-time information about pollen levels in Europe. “Reduced exposure to pollen offers significant safety benefits as well as increased comfort.”

The all-new Mondeo that goes on sale in Europe later this year will offer best-in-segment filtration when it debuts the system, alongside further new technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection. The system also will be available on further Ford vehicles including the all-new S-MAX, a stylish and innovative reinvention of the trend-setting seven-seat sports activity vehicle.

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* Based on a study conducted by Halfords Autocentres
** Uwe E. Berger, Head of the Aerobiology and Pollen Information Research Unit at the Medical University of Vienna
*** Vuurman EFPM, Vuurman LL, Lutgens I, Kremer B. Allergic rhinitis is a risk factor for traffic safety. Allergy 2014; 69: 906–912
**** Based on a study conducted by the AvD (Automobilclub von Deutschland)

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 186,000 employees and 65 plants worldwide, the company’s automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford and its products
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Ford of Europe is responsible for producing, selling and servicing Ford brand vehicles in 50 individual markets and employs approximately 50,000 employees at its wholly owned facilities and approximately 69,000 people when joint ventures and unconsolidated businesses are included. In addition to Ford Motor Credit Company, Ford Europe operations include Ford Customer Service Division and 24 manufacturing facilities (13 wholly owned or consolidated joint venture facilities and 11 unconsolidated joint venture facilities). The first Ford cars were shipped to Europe in 1903 – the same year Ford Motor Company was founded. European production started in 1911.

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