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New self-driving electric car sucks up air pollution as it drives

[Feb 12, 2022: Fabienne Lang]

Airo is a fully electric vehicle that boasts both autonomous and driver-controlled modes. (CREDIT: Heatherwick Studio)

If you pictured cars in the future as sleek, glass-covered, EVs with the ability to clean pollution, then you pictured Airo, Heatherwick Studio's concept car designed for IM Motors.

Unveiled at the Shanghai Motor Show, Airo is a fully electric vehicle that boasts both autonomous and driver-controlled modes. More excitingly, its designers promise it produces no fossil fuel pollutants, and taking it a step further, the vehicle even vacuums up polluted air around it as it drives.

We were excited for the future's flying cars, but if there are pollution-cleaning cars, sign us up for those!


Airo cleans the air using its HEPA filtering system that actively sucks up the pollutants from other cars around it, leaving the surrounding air cleaner than before.

(CREDIT: Heatherwick Studio)


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"Airo isn’t simply another electric car that doesn’t pollute the air. Instead, using the latest HEPA filter technology, it goes further by also vacuuming-up pollutants from other cars as it drives along," says Thomas Heatherwick, Founder of Heatherwick Studio.

Not only will Airo clean the air, it'll do so in style.

(CREDIT: Heatherwick Studio)


The interior of the car can be customized and configured into a number of different styles, and for different functional spaces: from regular car to dining room to bedroom. The seats rotate from the regular driving position to fully face each other so that four people can sit facing each other for a chat or to enjoy a meal with the foldable four-leaf table in the middle.

A foldaway screen instantly turns the space into a four-wheeled cinema or gaming space, and to assure privacy or to simply stop any glare, the fully-glazed roof can be tinted. And when it's time to catch up on some beauty sleep, the seats can fully recline to give way to a double bed. You can literally watch the stars from your bed in Airo.

(CREDIT: Heatherwick Studio)


Heatherwick explained that the EV was "Designed to simultaneously address the global space shortage, Airo is also a multi-functional room with extra space for dining, working, gaming or even sleeping. As a new room for our lives, with a changing view, Airo is a car intended to transport us to a cleaner and better future."

The EV charges from one of the company's charging stations, which have been designed to blend in with a cityscape for decades to come thanks to their weathered steel look.

Indeed, it seems that anyone spending time in the Airo wouldn't want to leave such a comfortable, clean space. It seems to be an idea candidate for a guilt-free, stylish roadtrip.

For more technology stories check out our New Innovations section at The Brighter Side of News.


Note: Materials provided above by Fabienne Lang. Content may be edited for style and length.


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