It's essentially a mask for your car.
By now, everyone knows that mask-wearing is an effective preventative measure to avoid contracting the potentially deadly Covid-19 virus. Several automakers continue to promote this message, with Volkswagen helping to produce face masks last year to assist during the first major wave of the virus and Ford starting 2021 off with a mask-awareness campaign.
Honda Japan has taken all of this a step further and developed what it calls the 'Kurumaku'. It's essentially a 'mask' for your car that covers the usual cabin filter and protects occupants from coronavirus droplets in the air inside the vehicle as the ventilation system circulates air through the cabin.
Because a vehicle is a small and often entirely enclosed space, occupants are at high risk if one of them happens to be infected with the virus. The Kurumaku tech came to life at the Manufacturing Center of Honda Motor Co., Ltd. Automobile Business Headquarters, and is claimed to remove 99.8 percent of hazardous, airborne droplets in only 15 minutes.
Even better, the Kurumaku can eliminate the spread of other viruses as well. It will last for just over 9,300 miles or one year before needing to be replaced. A zinc phosphate chemical conversion treatment endows the Kurumaku with its antiviral properties.
As with the Covid-19 vaccine, Honda fast-tracked the development of the Kurumaku due to the rapidly spreading nature of the virus. However, you can't walk into your local Honda dealer and tick an option box for this feature on your Accord or Civic just yet.
For now, the Kurumaku is only offered on the quirky Honda N-Box, a vehicle that is only sold in the Japanese market; in fact, it was the top-selling car in its category there last year. The Kurumaku can be ordered as a dealer accessory for a cost of around $70, which seems like a good deal considering it could potentially save your life. Hopefully, the technology expands to other Honda models imminently.