The pandemic has many people wary of riding in a car in close quarters with others’ germs. Soon, many makes of automobiles will be furnished with antimicrobial textiles from Israel’s Sonovia Tech.

During a recent visit to Israel, Italian Foreign Minister Luigi de Mayo announced that the Adler Group, a tier 1 producer of components for the automotive industry, signed an agreement with Sonovia to develop textiles for cars.

These fabrics for carpeting and other interior features will have the same antiviral, antibacterial properties as Sonovia’s made-in-Israel SonoMask washable facemasks, which are proven at least 99 percent effective against coronaviruses and other viruses.

At the signing ceremony October 30, Sonovia provided participants with special-edition SonoMasks emblazoned with the Israeli and Italian flags.

The technology, developed at Bar-Ilan University, embeds zinc oxide nanoparticles into the fabric that neutralize microbes.

Paolo Scudieri of the Adler Group signed a memorandum of understanding with the Israel Innovation Authority two years ago for the development of new technologies for the mobility industry. Scudieri subsequently partnered with the Israeli company Inlight, founded 20 years ago by Roberta Anati to integrate innovation into industry.

“I found Sonovia when I was looking for a solution to make fabrics smarter,” Anati tells ISRAEL21c. “Through AdlerInlight Technology Observatory, Sonovia’s technology will be integrated into Adler’s production lines in Europe.”

The Adler Group has 65 production facilities in 21 countries and supplies all the main automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs).

Sonovia CTO Liat Goldhammer Steinberg said the development and testing period is expected to last about a year.