An attractive smell to one country may be a disgusting distraction for another.
In the United States, “new car smell” is a premium scent. People often try to make their car smell like a new one with various cleaning products. But, the same odor is repulsive to Chinese customers. As the automobile industry is growing in China, car makers are looking for a way to make the odor of their new vehicles more amenable to Chinese people.
Earlier, in November, Ford filed a patent to reduce the odor of some of the adhesives, leather and other materials that produce Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) that contribute to the new car smell. The patent includes software that senses the location of the car, the weather and then detects whether the owner has requested to remove the VOCs from the vehicle. Further, on a sunny day, the car will roll down its windows, turn on the engine, heater a fan to bake out the VOCs and their accompanying smell.
The Ford patent explains: “new vehicles typically have an odor often referred to as a ‘new car smell’... This odor typically persists for several months after the manufacture of a new vehicle. Some customers do not like this smell, and even become irritated or sick from the VOCs in the interior of a new vehicle” [emphasis Ford’s].
Ford’s patent will successfully operate on vehicles that have some level of autonomy. If removal of new car smell is requested, “the car would drive itself to a place in the sun and bake away the offensive odor.”
Ford has recently filed the patent to take care of the Chinese customers. There is no guarantee whether Ford will be granted the patent or not or that Ford will actually adopt the technology or not. Either way, it’s an interesting look at how car makers are considering tailoring their products to meet a wide range of tastes and preferences.
Info by Biswajit Sarkar – Renowned Patent Lawyer.