Tesla’s Bioweapon Defense Mode is about to get smarter, with location-based activation settings expected to be introduced in the future. Musk recently mentioned the upcoming improvements to the Model S and Model X’s hospital-
Bioweapon Defense Mode enables Model S and Model X to improve cabin air quality by removing at least 99.97% of fine particulate matter and gaseous pollutants, including bacteria, viruses, pollen, and mold spores. The only drawback to the feature in its current iteration is that it must be manually activated.
With Bioweapon Defense Mode’s location-based activation settings, Tesla’s electric cars can proactively protect their inhabitants better. Drivers that regularly pass through polluted areas could set the air filtration system in their Model S and Model X to engage in selected sections of the city (or the freeway for that matter), making commutes more convenient and safer at the same time.
Granted, Bioweapon Defense Mode’s upcoming improvements will depend on saved locations, but the recently-announced enhancements could be used by Tesla as a stepping stone for future upgrades nonetheless. Among the potential improvements that Tesla could roll out is the capability to automatically engage Bioweapon Defense Mode depending on data from other Teslas in nearby areas. With such a system in place, vehicles could warn other electric cars about locations with poor air quality at a given time. This capability will be useful during emergencies such as wildfires, which are very difficult to predict.
Bioweapon Defense Mode is made possible by the Model S and Model X’s incredibly large HEPA filter, which is around ten times as large as those of a regular car. Bioweapon Defense Mode is currently exclusive to the Model S and X since the vehicles’ large HEPA filter does not fit in the smaller frame of the Model 3 (and in extension, likely the Model Y as well).
While its name incites ideas of a clever marketing strategy, Bioweapon Defense Mode has actually been proven to be effective in real-life scenarios. Last year alone, Tesla owners who were affected by the raging California wildfires have noted that their vehicles helped them breathe easier while they were driving in areas with poor air quality. Apart from this, a controlled demonstration from Tesla involving a Model X placed in a bubble contaminated with extreme levels of pollutants also showcased the effectiveness of the air filtration system. During the test, Bioweapon Defense Mode was able to scrub the air inside the vehicle within two minutes, later even cleaning the air around the all-electric SUV.