In June, Elon Musk said that Tesla's line of vehicles would have the most advanced air filter systems on the market. He called it "Bioweapon Defense Mode," and it significantly reduced the impact of air pollution on the car's passengers.
The filters are much larger than your average car filter and Musk says they are 100 times more effective. Critics believed that it was another superfluous feature, but now the Bioweapon Defense Mode is proving invaluable to people near the deadly California wildfires.
According to reports from Tesla owners in the area, the air quality inside the vehicles is exponentially better. One driver took a reading with the windows down and the Air Quality Index was 174 — in the "unhealthy" zone. With the windows up, the air quality was 6.
Elon Musk took to twitter to elaborate that the hospital-grade HEPA filters on the Model S & X could be helpful for transporting people. He reportedly sent an email out to employees that said, “If there’s any way for Tesla to be helpful, please provide assistance and don’t worry about payment.”
Musk credits Google co-founder Larry Page with the idea.