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

Wed, Apr 8, 2015

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 hay fever

  • Sneezing at a speed of 95 km/h can result in drivers – including an increasing numbers of allergy sufferers – “driving blind” for up to 20 metres
  • Hay fever 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

MELBOURNE– 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 may result in “driving blind” for up to 20 metres*.

On the all-new Mondeo Ford is now introducing 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 ultraluxury 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 hay fever sufferers – more than a quarter of all Europeans.** Research has identified that an attack of hay fever, 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.****

In Australia allergies are among the fastest growing chronic diseases with 4.1 million Australians (19.6 per cent of the population) suffering from at least one allergic disease.^

The all-new Mondeo that goes on sale in May will offer leading filtration when it debuts the system, alongside further new technologies including Pre-Collision Assist with Pedestrian Detection.

* 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)
^ Mullins RJ, et al. The economic impact of allergic disease in Australia: not to be sneezed at. ASCIA/Access Economics Report, November 2007.

About Ford Motor Company

Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Michigan, manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 189,000 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 worldwide, please visit