The technology is well-established for use in buildings, but now Hyundai wants to use it on cars.
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Hyundai is planning to use ultraviolet (UV) light globes to sterilise the interiors of its cars.

UV radiation has been shown to kill microorganisms such as bacteria and fungi – and also neutralise viruses – with the brand pointing to its use in hospitals, train stations and art galleries.

Hyundai says that using a UV light globe for a car’s interior dome light would be ideal for sterilising touch points such as seats, floor mats, dashboard and steering wheels simultaneously, however notes it may be ineffective in places the light does not reach.

If the feature were to be added to cars, Hyundai says it would need to be activated when there are no occupants in the vehicle, stating that “direct UV rays are well known to be harmful to human skin”.

Further to sterilising surfaces, Hyundai plans to use UV rays as a catalyst to reduce cabin CO2 and kill germs floating inside a car. This technology could form a part of future air conditioning systems.

However, while UV light globe technology is well-established, Hyundai says the technology will not make its way into cars until the modules used to control them become more affordable.

“Such technologies will require expensive modules. This would make cars more expensive. So [Hyundai] is trying to develop technologies more affordable,” the brand said.

COVID-19 has seen the car industry tackle interior hygiene issues with innovation.

Earlier this year, Chinese carmaker Geely announced that it had invested 370 million RMB (AU$74.3 million) to develop healthier vehicles that utilise “materials that are antimicrobial in nature”.