Tesla introduces “Bioweapon Defense Mode”

Tesla Motors showed off some tests of their amusingly-named “Bioweapon Defense Mode” on their blog earlier this week. While the demo is raising some skeptical eyebrows among actual biodefense experts, you don’t need crazy movie-plot scenarios to imagine the utility of a more serious approach to indoor air quality in vehicles — air quality in many major cities is already apocalyptic, killing about seven million people a year. Tesla enjoys a somewhat unique position among car companies; their competitors can’t draw attention to miserable urban air quality without also drawing attention to their own culpability in making the mess in the first place.

Evidently I’m not the only one who saw Elon Musk’s tweets about “Bioweapon Defense Mode,” and guessed that the real name is “Beijing Mode.” Of course, if they actually called it that, it would probably annoy the people they’re hoping to entice with this system.

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Russell Neches

A microbiology graduate student at UC Davis, working with Jonathan Eisen @phylogenomics . Studies evolution & ecology. Advocate of Open Hardware & Open Access.