Water scarcity is already a serious problem in many developing parts of the world, and the UN says it is only going to get worse. Nearly half of the world's population will struggle with clean water shortages by 2030.
One country currently under high water-stress innovated a clever solution. A billboard in Lima, Peru was designed to condense and filter water out of the humid air, and distribute the water to residents.
Doug Martin, an engineer at Ford Motor Company, heard about this, and thought he could apply the same principles to a car. The air conditioning unit in your vehicle can create half a gallon of condensation in an hour on high-humidity days. Normally that water is dumped out onto the pavement, but Martin devised a system to collect it, and pump it through a 0.1-micron filter.
This technology could be a huge boon to developing countries, where strange economic disparities mean that households may have smartphones, but no electricity, or a new car, but no running water. Even in developed nations like the U.S., Doug Martin's "On-The-Go H2O" system could benefit residents in times of drought -- like California -- or provide relief during disasters, like the recent Hurricane Matthew in Florida.
What's next for Ford Motor Company? Learn more about Ford's people-first technology at Buckeye Ford Lincoln LLC, and test drive innovative new vehicles in Sidney.