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Honda’s ‘Car Mask’ Will Protect Your Car’s Cabin From COVID-19

Unfortunately, the pandemic didn’t end when we all rung in the new year, which means that we’ll have to wear masks for the unforeseeable future. Of course, everyone knows this, including Honda, which is why the automaker recently revealed its latest innovation: a car mask.

“Kurumaku” means car mask

No, we’re not talking about the black covering that goes over the front bumper and hood of your car (that’s a car bra). Instead, Honda’s latest invention is called the “ Kurumaku,” in which “kuruma” is Japanese for “car” and the “maku” stands for “mask.” Naming conventions aside, this new innovative feature is actually a fabric covering that covers your car’s cabin filter.

Not too unlike the mask that you have surely become comfortable with wearing on your face, the Kurumaku slips onto the cabin filter to provide an extra layer of protection thanks to “millions of thorn-like protrusions at a nanometer level,” according to Autoblog.

The Honda Kurumaku filter
The Honda Kurumaku filter | Autoblog

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How does the Kurumaku work?

The Kurumaku was developed by Honda in conjunction with the Kitasato Research Center using a zinc-phosphate composition, which they say will trap droplets into the filter system. In fact, Honda is confident that the Kurumaku will work so well that it will be able to filter the air and remove up to 99.8 percent of COVID-19 drops in just 15 minutes. Of course, the filter is effective against many other viruses as well, not just COVID-19.

The filter itself will be good for about 9,300 miles, after which it will need to be changed out. If you don’t drive that much within a year, then it will be recommended that you replace the filter at least once a year for the best results.

Honda N-Box Kei Car
Honda N-Box Kei Car | Wikimedia Commons

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How can we get a Kurumaku?

Unfortunately, Honda’s Kurumaku will only be rolled out with the Honda N-Box Kei car in Japan, but multiple sources have stated that it should be offered on a multitude of platforms soon after. As the COVID-19 virus keeps spreading globally and even mutating, it’s good to know that some automakers are doing their part in keeping their cars as safe as possible.

Input Mag reported that most cars on the market today use High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filtration systems, however, those filters are designed to block particulates up to 0.3 microns in diameter. Particles from the Coronavirus have been measured to be 0.06 to 0.14 microns in diameter, which means that they can easily slip through a traditional HEPA filter. In this case, the Kurumaku couldn’t have been invented at a better time.

While it’s currently limited in its production, the Kurumaku costs around $68, which is a small price to pay to keep yourself and your occupants as healthy as possible when riding in your car. Although, we have to wonder: Will Honda make them in different designs to keep up with the latest mask fashion trends? Probably not. But as long as they can make them for all of their other vehicles, we can at least hope for a more refreshing future.