In the future, your car might go for a spot of sunbaking while you're away
Ford has a filed a patent application for an automated new-car-smell removal method, designed to make your brand-new vehicle smell less, well, new.
According to the company's filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office, new car smell is caused by volatile organic compounds (VOCs) given off by leather, plastic and vinyl materials in a car's interior. Adhesives, sealants and glass cleaners may also contribute to the odour.
These VOCs are are released in greater quantities when the car is hot. With that in mind, Ford's solution is to "bake" the car and release those VOCs until most of the new-car smell has gone away.
The process described in the patent involves parking the car in the sun, opening the windows slightly, and optionally turning the engine, heater and fan on.
Ford's patent relates to an automated, or semi-automated, system for removing the new car smell after the car has been purchased.
The system includes special software and various air quality sensors, and only works when fitted to an autonomous or semi-autonomous vehicle.
If the car determines it has the right climate conditions and enough time to expel out some VOCs, it can drive itself to a nearby sunny spot and begin removing some of that smell.