One of the cooler features for the Tesla Model X SUV that was announced when the vehicle launched last year is “Bioweapon Defence Mode.”
Effectively, this turns cabin air filtration up to 11, according to Tesla.
CEO Elon Musk touted the feature prominently at the Model X launch presentation, perhaps because in polluted China — a big potential growth market for Tesla — major-league air-cleansing will be a huge selling point.
Tesla claims that BWDM will scrub the Model X’s biosphere to hospital grade.
Naturally, in a short test of the Model X recently in fragrant Manhattan, we wanted to see what would happen when we engaged the feature.
There’s nothing to it. You push a virtual button on Tesla’s large center touch screen.
But … would alarms sound? Would lights start flashing, like they do when the Starship Enterprise goes on red alert? Would the voice of the navigation system say “Bioweapon Defence Mode engaged!”
Actually, none of that stuff happened.
In fact, absolutely nothing occurred. Total silence.
This was the most amazing thing about BWDM: Is was effectively invisible. But doing its bioweapon defending with quiet futuristic resolve.
The four occupants of the Model X, two of them Tesla employees, took deep, cleansing, yoga-style breaths.
I felt a sense of calm wash over me. In the middle of near-total gridlock.
I don’t know if it had anything to do with Bioweapon Defence Mode, however. Presumably, if the Model X were being attacked with bioweapons, there would not be a sense of calm. But it just was a rainy morning in New York City. The only stress was being provided by delivery trucks and cabs.
Still, Business Insider’s Benjamin Zhang, in the back seat, said that he couldn’t smell Manhattan anymore.
Some experts have expressed scepticism that BWDM can protect occupants from ALL contaminants, but on paper it should do an effective job of cutting down on what people encounter every day when driving around big cities.
But nothing crazy happens when you switch it on.