“There are no secrets to success. It is the result of preparation, hard work, and learning failure.”
The rideshare services as known have policies regarding the passengers’ safety and driver’s integrity. However, there are no such policies for the passenger’s and driver’s safety from harmful infectious environment. The application of antimicrobial coatings seems to be a relief from menace of harmful pathogens that can cause a range of deadly diseases. The rapid expansion of the rideshare industry creates a safety need for the passengers and drivers from contagious diseases.
What is Rideshare Industry?
The concept of ridesharing is providing one-way transportation facilities in a short time, generally with the help of an app. One need to download the ridesharing company’s app on your smartphone for using the transportation.
The word ‘ridesharing’ has arisen from the concept of the sharing economy. The age of rapid urbanization that requires personal mobility and smartphone culture has expanded the market of ridesharing. Also, the passenger can enjoy the convenience of a private vehicle without the hassles of ownership.
Globally, Uber (USA) and Lyft (USA) are the biggest ridesharing companies. Other players in the market are DiDi Chuxing (China), Gett (Israel), Grab (Singapore), Ola (India), BlaBlaCar (France), Herts (USA), and Lime (USA).
The ridesharing industry’s prospects are massive due to increased digitalization of services, high cost of vehicle purchase and maintenance, and various restrictions imposed on CO2 emissions. Several mergers, collaborations, and expansion of services are expected soon.
“Although, we have now learned to take precautions, yet commonly touched surfaces are still a significant threat at present.”
– Dr. Atul Tiwari
Why is Antimicrobial Coating Important in Rideshare Industry?
In 2020 the world faced an unknown and dangerous virus attack (COVID-19) that costed numerous lives. The COVID-19 is highly contagious and resulted in lockdowns spanning months in many countries. Ultimately, people shall come out of their homes, but the fight against the virus will continue. Commuters chose private vehicles over public transport to avoid contact with strangers. Even the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested the employers offer incentives to workers for traveling in private vehicles.
With the continued battle against the COVID-19, ridesharing seems a safer option. It is an adequate balance between a private car’s expenses and the risk of a mass commute option. The regular cleaning and sanitization deemed to ensure travelers’ safety. In the longer run, an antimicrobial coating could be a better and more durable option as mere sanitization may not be suitable. The CDC has issued clear COVID-19 safety guidelines for drivers of such rideshare, limos, taxis, and passenger cars to prevent the spread of the virus. Although, we have now learned to take all precautions, yet commonly touched surfaces are a significant threat at present.
Sooner or later, the COVID-19 pandemic will be over after teaching us the danger of unknown contagious diseases that could attack us anytime. The permanent solution for protection is to keep our environment safer from microbial attack at home and outside. Today, people are choosing safer travel options that are affordable and convenient. Ridesharing companies need to provide precise safety with convenience at affordable rates.
According to a survey conducted by the Company IHS Markit, 25 percent of people did not want to use rideshare post-COVID-19. In comparison, 80 percent expect the rideshare vehicle to be equipped with decontaminators. Nearly half of the consumers plan to lower the frequency of rideshare services compared to the pre-COVID era. Rideshare players need to create a safe internal environment in the vehicle and negligible contact with the vehicle driver.
How can the Antimicrobial Coating help the Rideshare Industry?
Antimicrobial coatings hold the promise of creating microbicidal and microbe-repellent surfaces. The technology of antimicrobial coatings uses layers to hinder harmful microbes’ growth through cellular membrane perturbation.
In simple words, the antimicrobial coating technology does not allow pathogens to adhere to them, stop microbial growth, and kill microbes. It is made possible by using microbe killing components in the coating such that mere coating the surface makes it safe from microbes’ attack.
Antimicrobial coatings can be achieved using materials with strong antimicrobial properties like natural polymers, peptides and antimicrobial nanomaterials. The antimicrobial material should be affordable, easily synthesized, durable, non-irritating, and non-toxic to humans. Silver and copper are trendy due to their natural and healthy antimicrobial character.
The antimicrobial coatings are used widely in numerous places like healthcare, public homes, handrails, airplanes, automobiles, etc. The application of smart coatings like INVESIL in the rideshare industry could make the safety of the passengers. The antimicrobial coatings can be used on a range of surfaces like doorknobs, handles, upholstery, etc.
Most of the interior of an automobile comprises of plastic and fabric. For fabric, antimicrobial textiles are manufactured with coating antimicrobial agents or applying the antimicrobial product after the fabrication process. The new nanotechnology allows the manufacture of specialty fabric that is infused with nanomaterials like silver, copper, zinc oxide, zirconium, tantalum and titanium oxide to destroy microbes effectively. The plastics can be made antimicrobial with the help of microbicidal additives. The aluminum exterior of cars can be easily coated with specialty antimicrobial coatings applicable by adding it to the paint or directly coated on top of the painted car.
The range of products offered by the antimicrobial coating industry can make a durable protective layer on most surfaces. Apart from killing microbes, the antimicrobial coating is oleophobic, anti-corrosive that reduces the cleaning cost, and increases the surface’s life without affecting the look of the surface.
At present, innovation has led to the efficacy of 99.9 percent of the antimicrobial coating on microbes. The smart coatings are multifunctional, flexible, and environmentally friendly. The self-cleaning, antimicrobial coatings can endure high temperatures too. The efficiency of the antimicrobial coating lies in its composition of nanosilver, tantalum, zirconium nanoparticles. Also, transparent coatings do not spoil the original look of the surface and are easy to apply. The layer dries out quickly and lasts for several years. The smart coatings offered by companies go through numerous levels of testing to prove their efficiency and safety.