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Tesla Model X Air Filter Doubles as Bioweapon Defense

May 04, 2016 08:08 AM EDT

Tesla is banking on the environmental benefits of their Model X electric vehicles. With only a few months before its official release, Elon Musk announced that the car will be equipped with Bioweapon Defense mode air filter called HEPA which is capable of cleaning the air inside and outside the car as well.

In Tesla, they said one of their main goals is to ensure the safety of its users that's why they developed the anti-collision technology in their electric vehicles. But when they say safety, it doesn't just cover physical safety of its users. They have been working on the bioweapon defense mode for years now.

The HEPA air filtration system will function as a normal air filter inside the car, but what makes it more intriguing, is that it can also fight air pollution by filtering the air around the car as well.

Fortune reported the test of Tesla's air filtration system where a Model X SUV was placed inside a large bubble with polluted air with "approximately 8,200% above the EPA's "good" air quality index limit of 12 micrograms per cubic meter of air of fine particulate matter". The Model X was then set to the "Bioweapon Defense Mode" and the HEPA air filtration system was put to test. Surprisingly, in less than two minutes the polluted air was filtered almost wiping out the pollution level making it undetectable to the instrument measuring it.

It was tested in confinement and in natural situations to make sure it can positively filter particulates in the air including "fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, as well as bacteria, viruses, pollen and mold spores."

Last year, some bioweapon experts expressed their doubts about this air filtration system by saying that viruses and bacteria and too small to be filtered by HEPA. They also stated that one needs to know there's a bioweapon attack happening nearby to activate the button. But it looks like Tesla is beyond their detractors now, since the test of the HEPA air filters garnered a positive response from Model X and Model S enthusiasts.

This chart showed how the extremely hazardous level of air pollution dropped minutes after the "Bioweapon Defense Mode" was activated.

But despite the success of the test run, Tesla said they aren't finish with developing the air filters. They wanted to make replaceable filters for a prolonged life of the bioweapon system. "Tesla will continue to improve the micro-geometry and chemical passivation defenses in the primary and secondary filters, which are easily replaceable, so this will get better the longer you own your car."

Elon Musk also gave credit to the inspiration behind the Bioweapon defense mode air filter with a tweet he sent yesterday.

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