On Wednesday at CES 2023, Panasonic Automotive introduced a portable solution to keeping your car toxin-free and smelling good.

The size of a travel mug, the nanoe X Portable Air Purifier fits in a cupholder and tackles odor and harmful air pollutants. That includes that fried food smell from your favorite drive-through and allergens like pollen and pet dander, and helps inhibit viruses, bacteria, and mold. Panasonic’s proprietary nanoe X technology produces tiny electrically-charged water particles containing an oxidizing agent that effectively breaks down substances in the air. In simple terms, it’s really effective at cleaning the air and doesn’t require a filter.

Whether it’s a rideshare or just sharing a ride, the pandemic has made us all more aware of the risks of sharing air in enclosed spaces. While it can’t make any specific claims about its efficacy against COVID-19, the air purifier has been shown to have an impact on viruses, said Andrew Poliak, CTO of Panasonic Automotive.

As for outside pollutants, it can also reduce the smell of smoke from wildfires, said Poliak. The air purifier is certified by California Air Resource Board (CARB) as well as the Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and the Electrical Testing Laboratory (ETL) which have rigorous standards for air cleaners and electrical safety respectively. The air purifier is USB-powered and cleans a car in two hours at a low decibel level (36 dB).

Not to be mistaken for a travel mug.
Credit: Panasonic

The nanoe X Portable Air Purifier already available in Japan, but today marks its launch in North America. Poliak says that consumers will able to buy it online, but the initial focus is potentially selling to fleets and rideshare companies. So someday soon, you might step into an Uber or Lyft and smell pure, clean air instead of cigarette smoke or a bad air freshener.

On Wednesday, Panasonic Automotive also announced a joint feature with Amazon and its voice assistant Alexa. Vehicles that have Panasonic’s SkipGen infotainment system can use the Alexa operating system to activate Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, and other voice assistants. If you want to play music from Apple CarPlay, you can activate Alexa to turn it on, if you want to use Google Maps, ask Alexa. Essentially, it makes Alexa the underlying interoperability boss for activating apps powered by Apple, Google, etc.

Poliak didn’t share specifics on when and where to expect the SkipGen/Alexa integration, but Panasonic builds SkipGen for most of the global automaker’s devices, so you’ll likely experience it in a new car soon.

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