Minicab odour sensors could help riders select a car based on its whiff

Ride-hailing users may be able to select their minicab based on its smell in the future.

Car giants Ford have created the technology and filed for a new patent that uses sensors to rate how good or bad the smells are within the private hire driver’s car.

The technology ranks the odour inside the vehicle and compares it against a rider’s list of no-go and welcomed smells. Odours like peanuts would appear on a warning list for those that have an allergies, and tobacco for non-smokers who don’t like the whiff of cigarettes.

Car manufacturers Ford states in the patent: ’A system includes a computer remote from the vehicle.'

’The computer is programmed to store a label of an odor associated with a user, instruct the vehicle to pick up the user, receive data from an environmental sensor in the vehicle and output a message upon determining that the data indicate that a level of the odor exceeds a threshold.’

Anyone using a minicab app would input their journey details, which in turn would look up the customer’s account to locate any specific smells listed as being unwelcome or hazardous to their health.

The technology would then relay a message back to the rider rating the current odour levels within the car. The passenger could then choose whether they liked the smell listed or choose another one for their trip.

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