Mahle has developed an air conditioning system to fight fine particulates in the vehicle cabin.

Its main feature is the integration of fine-particulate sensors directly into the air conditioning system.

As this gives sensors immediate access to both cabin air and external air, the air conditioning system can react quickly to changing pollution levels and use the appropriate strategy to keep the air in the vehicle clean, says Mahle.

"Customers will find the air in the vehicle cabin is noticeably cleaner and the fine-particulate values in the car are lower thanks to our new smart air conditioning system," said Mahle Advanced Engineering Thermal Management director, Laurent Art.

"Furthermore, this new system lets them check the air quality in the vehicle in real time."

Existing solutions measure the level of pollution using a complex stand-alone sensor or array of sensors, which is or are often connected via hoses to the central heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) unit. 

In conjunction with its sensor concept, Mahle has developed a new generation of fine-particulate filters. The high dust extraction capacity exhibited by these filters is near constant during their entire lifetimes says the supplier.

Fine particulates, solid particles, harmful gases, and environmental odours in the incoming air are kept out of the vehicle cabin. Typical particles, such as brake dust, diesel soot, and tyre debris, which are produced and transported by traffic on the road ahead, do not enter the cabin.

The sensors integrated into the smart air conditioning system from Mahle also ensure optimal service life for the filter elements. 

The filter protects the components within the air conditioning system from exposure to polluted air.