Tech that’s not to be sneezed at

October 30, 2014

Anyone who’s ever had a hayfever-induced sneezing fit at the wheel will know just what a scary experience it can be.

At 95 km/h (60 mph), a single sneeze can see you “driving blind” for up to 20 metres, and research shows that driving during an attack of hayfever is comparable to having 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.

And it’s not just uncomfortable for drivers, either. With the pollen season now lasting for 10 months of the year, those passengers who are among the 25 per cent of Europeans suffering from hayfever also have to deal with more sneezing, itchy eyes and all the unpleasant effects of pollen irritation.

We have good news for all-new Ford Mondeo drivers, who will have their minds and sinuses put at ease by a new air filter system that can stop up to 99 per cent of pollen particles from entering the car. The new filter is 50 per cent more effective at blocking ultra-fine particles that can be as small as one thousandth the width of a human hair, because it uses activated charcoal just like that found in astronauts’ space suits.

Perhaps even more clever, the Mondeo’s air filter system can detect when air quality outside drops. If there’s an increased chance of nasty carbon monoxide or nitrogen dioxide coming into the car, the system automatically switches to recirculated air until the danger has passed.

The all-new Mondeo that goes on sale in Europe later this year with best-in-segment filtration for less pollen and fewer pongs inside.