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Title:
SANITIZING DEVICE FOR A MEANS OF TRANSPORT
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2021/234555
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A sanitizing device (10) of a means of transport, wherein the means of transport comprises a driving and/or passenger transport compartment and wherein the sanitizing device (10) is suited to be installed aboard the means of transport and/or is suited to be transported aboard the means of transport and is adapted and configured to release at least one sanitizing substance into the cockpit. The sanitizing device (10) comprises: - at least one tank (T1, T2) either adapted to contain or containing the sanitizing substance; - actuating means (M1, M2) operatively connected to the at least one tank (T1, T2) and electronically controllable to allow the transfer of the sanitizing substance from the tank (T1, T2) into the cockpit by diffusing it into the cockpit; - at least one electronic control unit (11) operatively connected to the actuating means (M1, M2) to control the actuating means (M1, M2); a radio communication interface (12) operatively connected to the electronic control unit (11) to allow the electronic control unit (11) to receive a sanitization request radio signal. The electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to activate the actuating means (M1, M2) based on the sanitization request radio signal. The radio communication interface (12) allows the electronic control unit (11) to transmit a radio signal containing information on a performed sanitization status of the cockpit of the means of transport. The electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to encrypt and/or decrypt radio signals received and/or transmitted through the radio communication interface (12).

Inventors:
NOCILLA, Antonio (IT)
PERRICONE, Lorenzo (IT)
MICHELETTO, Mario (IT)
Application Number:
PCT/IB2021/054247
Publication Date:
November 25, 2021
Filing Date:
May 18, 2021
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
PARTS SOLUTION SRL (IT)
International Classes:
A61L2/22; A61L2/24; A61L9/14; B60H3/00; G01L15/00; H04L9/00; H04W4/00
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
CARANGELO, Pierluigi et al. (IT)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

1.A sanitizing device (10) for a means of transport (100), wherein the means of transport (100) comprises a driving and/or passenger transport cockpit and wherein the sanitizing device (10) is suitable for being installed aboard the means of transport (100) and/or suitable for being transported aboard the means of transport (100) and is adapted and configured to release at least one sanitizing substance into the cockpit, wherein the sanitizing device (10) comprises:

- at least one tank (Tl, T2) either adapted to contain or containing the sanitizing substance;

- actuating means (Ml, M2) operatively connected to the tank (Tl, T2) and electronically controllable to allow the transfer of the sanitizing substance from the tank (Tl, T2) into the cockpit by diffusing it into the cockpit;

- at least one electronic control unit (11) operatively connected to the actuating means (Ml, M2) to control the actuating means (Ml, M2);

- a radio communication interface (12) operatively connected to the electronic control unit (11) to allow the electronic control unit (11) to receive a sanitization request radio signal; wherein:

- the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to activate the actuating means (Ml, M2) based on the sanitization request radio signal;

- the radio communication interface (12) allows the electronic control unit (11) to transmit a radio signal containing information on a performed sanitization status of the cockpit of the means of transport;

- the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to encrypt and/or decrypt radio signals received and/or transmitted through the radio communication interface (12).

2.A sanitizing device (10) according to claim 1, comprising a stand-alone power source (13) adapted to supply electric energy to the electronic control unit (11) and the actuating means (Ml, M2).

3.A sanitizing device (10) according to claim 2, wherein the stand-alone power source (13) comprises a rechargeable battery and wherein the sanitizing device (10) comprises a battery charging circuit (14) comprising an electrical connection plug (15) adapted and configured to interface operatively with a connection socket, such as a USB port or a cigarette lighter socket, arranged in the cockpit, wherein the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to:

- detect a disconnection between the connection plug (15) and the connection socket;

- transmit an alert radio signal to signal such a disconnection through the radio communication interface (12).

4.A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising an optical and/or acoustic signaling device (16), e.g. of the voice-type, operatively connected to the electronic control unit (11) to be controlled by the latter, and wherein the electronic control unit (11) is programmed to control the optical and/or acoustic signaling device (16) to signal a failure to sanitize the cockpit to a user who is about to use the means of transport (100).

5.A sanitizing device (11) according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising an image acquisition device (25) operatively connected to the electronic control unit (11), and wherein the electronic control unit is adapted and configured to activate the image acquisition device (25) to acquire at least one digital image or a video stream of digital images during the execution of a sanitization cycle.

6.A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, further comprising a filling sensor (SI, S2) for at least one tank (Tl, T2) operatively connected to the electronic control unit (11) to allow the electronic control unit (11) to detect the filling status of said tank (Tl, T2), and wherein the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to signal the need to replace or refill said tank (Tl, T2) if it detects that the filling status is insufficient.

7.A sanitizing device (10) according to claim 6, wherein the electronic control unit (11) upon said signaling, or after a set or settable number of signaling operations, is such as to wait for the reception of a digital token through the radio communication interface (12) before activating the actuating means (Ml, M2), preferably a digital token managed via blockchain.

8.A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein said at least one tank (Tl, T2) comprises a first tank (Tl) and a second tank (T2), wherein the first tank (Tl) and the second tank (T2) contain a first and a second sanitizing substance, respectively, wherein the first sanitizing substance is preferably a disinfecting substance and wherein the second sanitizing substance is preferably a hygienizing substance.

9. A sanitizing device (10) according to claim 8, wherein the actuating means (Ml, M2) comprise a first actuating device (Ml) and a second actuating device (M2) connected to the first tank (Tl) and the second tank (T2), respectively, and wherein the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to control independently to each other the first actuating device (Ml) and the second actuating device (M2).

10. A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising a self-supporting container body (20), containing the electronic control unit (11), the at least one tank (Tl, T2) and the actuating means (Ml, M2) and adapted to be removably positioned in the cockpit of the means of transport and/or in a trunk of the means of transport.

11. A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising one or more flexible outlet pipes (Cl, C2) operatively connected to said actuating means (Ml, M2) and/or to said at least one tank (Tl, T2) to be fed with said substance and having at least one free end portion for the release of said substance and the diffusion thereof into the cockpit.

12. A sanitizing device (10) according to claim 11, further comprising at least one diffusion device (Nl, N2), such as a nozzle and/or a fan, fixed to said free end portion.

13. A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the radio communication interface (12) and the electronic control unit (11) are adapted and configured to connect the sanitizing device (10) operatively to one or more sanitizing devices (10) according to any one of the preceding claims to create a network of sanitizing devices (10) operating in mutual symbiosis.

14.A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, comprising voice control means adapted and configured to allow a user to impart local voice commands to the sanitizing device (10). 15.A sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the electronic control unit (11) is adapted and configured to authorize the initiation of a sanitization cycle upon verification of a digital token.

16.A group of parts comprising an application program either installed or installable on a personal communication device and further comprising a sanitizing device (10) according to any one of the preceding claims, wherein the application program is adapted and configured to send the sanitization request radio signal to the electronic control unit (11) either directly or indirectly.

Description:
"Sanitizing device for a means of transport"

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001]The present invention relates to the technical field of sanitizing devices and in particular relates to a device for sanitizing land, naval and aeronautical means of transport, e.g. such as cars, vans, buses, trains, planes, boats, mobile offices.

PRIOR ART

[0002] It is known that means of transport shared by multiple users over time are currently used. This widely occurs, for example, in the case of car sharing services, in which a vehicle, such as a car, can be used by several people in the same day, each of whom uses the vehicle only for the time necessary to keep rental costs down. Other non-limiting examples of shared use of means of transport are company vehicle fleets, vehicle fleets used by the police, vehicle fleets used in health services, boat fleets for hire.

[0003]To avoid the transmission of bacterial infections or viral contagions among the various users sharing the same means of transport in temporally successive sharing slots, the known solutions are currently limited to manual sanitization interventions by the users themselves or periodical interventions carried out by the fleet managers of the means of transport. The latter interventions require specialized operators to go with their equipment to the means of transport or alternatively require such means of transport to be transferred to prearranged sites where the required interventions are carried out by specialized personnel.

[0004]For the above reasons, currently known sanitization solutions are relatively expensive and ineffective. In relation to the latter aspect, it is worth noting that there are currently no automatic, safe, efficient and fast solutions which allow sanitization interventions to be carried out at a short frequency as desired, e.g. at the end of the use of a means of transport by one or more users or generally before the means of transport is used by one or more successive users.

[0005]Therefore, the need is still felt to develop a solution which allows to solve the drawbacks which affect the known sanitization solutions of the means of transport. It is thus an object of the present description to make available a sanitizing device which allows to satisfy the aforesaid requirement and which thus enables the drawbacks of the sanitization systems of the prior art to be solved in whole or in part.

[0006]Such an object is achieved by a sanitizing device as defined in general in claim 1. Alternative preferred and advantageous embodiments of the aforesaid sanitizing device are defined in the accompanying dependent claims.

[0007]The invention will be better understood from the following detailed description of particular embodiments, provided by way of example and consequently not limiting in any manner, with reference to the accompanying drawing which is briefly described in the following paragraph.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0008]Figure 1 shows an exemplary functional block chart of a sanitizing device for a means of transport.

[0009]Figure 2 shows a system comprising the sanitizing device in figure 1. DETAILED DESCRIPTION

[0010]An exemplary and non-limiting embodiment of a sanitizing device 10 for sanitizing a means of transport 100 is shown in the figures. For the purposes of this description, means of transport 100 means, for example, without introducing any limitation, a car, a van, a bus, a boat, an aircraft or a special vehicle in the possession of a private or public company or the police, a boat, a taxi, etc. Although the sanitizing device 10 is designed to effectively and safely solve sanitization issues in shared means of transport 10, it does not exclude that such device 10 may be used onboard private means of transport, e.g. for periodically sanitizing such means.

[0011]The sanitizing device 10 allows to sanitize a driver and/or passenger compartment of the means of transport 100, henceforth also referred to as "cockpit" for the sake of simplicity. To this end, the sanitizing device 10 is adapted and configured to be installed aboard the means of transport 100 during normal use of the means of transport 100 and to release, when required, at least one sanitizing substance, e.g. a disinfecting substance and/or a sanitizing substance, into the cockpit of the means of transport 100. For the purposes of this description, "releasing a sanitizing substance" means dispensing or diffusing the sanitizing substance into the volume of the cockpit, e.g. by spraying, nebulization and/or atomization and/or vaporization.

[0012]The sanitizing device 10 comprises at least one tank Tl, T2 either adapted to contain or containing the sanitizing substance. The tank Tl, T2 is, for example, a fluid container made of plastic or metal. [0013]The sanitizing device 10 further comprises actuating means Ml, M2 operatively connected to the first tank Tl, T2 and electronically controllable to allow the transfer of the sanitizing substance from the tank Tl, T2 into the cockpit by diffusing it into the cockpit. For example, such actuation means Ml, M2 comprise at least either a solenoid valve or a pump or a piezoelectric device or a heating device controllable to cause the accelerated evaporation or nebulization or atomization of the substance.

[0014]The sanitizing device 10 further comprises at least one electronic control unit 11 operatively connected to the actuating means Ml, M2 to control the actuating means Ml, M2. The electronic control unit 11 is, for example, a microprocessor, or an embedded microcontroller, or a DSP, or an FPGA, or any electronic unit having on-board firmware which enables the electronic control unit 11 to process data or input signals to provide output data or control signals. The electronic control unit 11 is preferably electrically connected to the actuating means Ml, M2 by means of electrical conductors, such as electrical cables and/or electrically conductive tracks.

[0015]The sanitizing device 10 further comprises at least one radio communication interface 12 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11 to allow the electronic control unit 11 to receive a sanitization request radio signal. The radio communication interface 12 is, for example, wired to the electronic control unit 11 or integrated therein.

[0016]The radio communication interface 12 is, for example, an interface for connection to a data radio network 50, e.g.,

3G or 4G or 5G or GPRS (the communication interface 12 therefore, having a corresponding SIM card in the latter case) or a Bluetooth, or Zigbee or WiFi interface. It is advantageous for the sanitizing device 10 to comprise both a long-range radio communication interface 12 (e.g., a GPRS, 3G, 4G, 5G modem with a corresponding SIM card) and a short- range radio communication interface 12 (e.g., a Bluetooth, or Zigbee or WiFi interface).

[0017] In the sanitizing device 10, the electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured to activate the actuating means Ml, M2 based on the sanitization request radio signal. Such a radio signal is, for example, a signal sent by a user, e.g., through a personal communication device 101 (e.g., a smartphone, smartwatch, tablet PC), and/or sent by an operational control center 102 or a back-end server 102, e.g., based on an automated management program.

[0018] According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured to encrypt and/or decrypt radio signals received and/or transmitted through the radio communication interface 12. For this purpose, the electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured, i.e. programmed, to execute an encryption and/or decryption algorithm, e.g. a symmetric key or asymmetric key algorithm. In this manner, the operation of the sanitizing device 10 can be managed in a particularly safe manner. It is particularly advantageous for said algorithm to be a symmetric key algorithm, preferably an AES (Advanced Encryption Standard) algorithm, e.g., an AES- 256 algorithm. To further increase the robustness of such an algorithm, it is possible to adopt some expedients, such as:

Always different calls and answers to avoid cloning of consents (replay attack); and/or

- Consent check based on the user's authorization to use the device 10; and/or

- Consent check based on criteria regarding device activation history 10.

[0019]According to an embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises a satellite positioning antenna 5, or a satellite positioning module 5, operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11. Thus, it is advantageously possible to detect and track the location of the sanitizing device 10.

[0020]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, in the sanitizing device 10, the radio communication interface 12 allows the electronic control unit 11 to transmit a radio signal containing information on a performed sanitization status of the cockpit of the means of transport 100. Thus, a user and/or the owner of the transportation means 100 and/or the operator of the transportation means 100 can easily know whether the transportation means 100 has been sanitized and thus can be safely used.

[0021]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, according to the example shown in figure 1, the said at least one tank Tl, T2 comprises a first tank T1 and a second tank T2 or generally comprises a plurality of tanks Tl, T2.

[0022]Although it is possible to provide that the plurality of tanks Tl, T2 contain the same sanitizing substance, it is particularly advantageous to provide that the tanks Tl, T2 respectively contain a first and a second sanitizing substance, wherein the first sanitizing substance is a disinfecting substance and wherein the second sanitizing substance is a sanitizing substance. For example, the sanitizing substance is represented by disinfectants for hospital use, e.g. solutions based on sodium hypochlorite (0.1% -0.5% by volume), or ethanol (62%-71% by volume) or hydrogen peroxide (0.5% by volume) or other equivalent substances and is a relatively less dense liquid substance and the sanitizing substance is represented by detergents or compounds having special properties, e.g. solutions comprising quaternary ammonium salts or the like and is a relatively denser liquid substance than the first substance, e.g. oily or gelatinous.

[0023]If the sanitizing device 10 comprises two tanks Tl, T2 it is particularly advantageous to provide that the actuating means Ml, M2 comprise a first actuating device Ml and a second actuating device M2 connected to the first tank Tl and the second tank T2, respectively, and wherein the electronic control unit 11 is configured to control independently to each other the first actuating device Ml and the second actuating device M2. In this manner, for example, it is possible to activate sanitization cycles of the cockpit which require different sanitization treatments, which can be managed in a temporally independent manner, e.g. disinfection cycles and sanitization cycles, in the case in which the two tanks Tl, T2 include mutually different substances. This expedient can be similarly extended in the case in which the tanks Tl, T2 are more than two.

[0024]In the embodiment in which two tanks Tl, T2 and two actuation devices Ml, M2, e.g. such as two pumps, are provided, it is possible to provide that the actuation devices Ml, M2 convey the substances extracted from the two tanks Tl, T2, either simultaneously or alternately with each other, into the same diffusion device. Such a diffusion device comprises, for example, a heatable plate which causes substances to evaporate when they come into contact with the plate, or a piezoelectric device for nebulizing or atomizing said substances.

[0025]Henceforth, for the sake of simplicity of presentation, reference will be made to the case in which the sanitizing device 10 comprises only one tank without introducing any limitation in terms of the number of envisaged tanks.

[0026]According to an embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises an autonomous power source 13 adapted to supply electrical energy to the electronic control unit 11, the actuating means Ml, M2 and preferably also to the radio communication interface 12 or generally to all components of the sanitizing device 10 which must be electrically powered for their operation.

[0027]Preferably, the autonomous power source 13 comprises at least one rechargeable battery. Advantageously, the sanitizing device 10 further comprises a battery charging circuit 14 of the rechargeable battery comprising an electrical connection plug 15 adapted and configured to operatively interface with a connection socket, such as a USB port or a cigarette lighter socket, arranged in the cockpit. In the latter embodiment, it is particularly advantageous for the electronic control unit 11 to be adapted and configured to:

- detect a disconnection between the connection plug 15 and the connection socket, transmit an alert radio signal to signal such a disconnection through the radio communication interface 12.

[0028]The aforementioned connection plug 15 is, for example, connected to the sanitizing device 10 through an electrical connection cable 19.

[0029]Either alternatively or in addition to the provision of an autonomous power source 13, the sanitizing device 10 may be powered directly from the battery provided in the electrical system of the means of transport 100. In any case, i.e. if the sanitizing device 10 comprises an autonomous power source 13 and/or is directly powered by the battery provided in the electrical system of the means of transport 100, it is particularly advantageous for the electronic control unit 11 to be adapted and configured to detect a state of insufficient or anomalous power supply of the sanitizing device 10 and to signal this state by transmitting a message and/or an alert signal through the radio communication interface 12.

[0030]According to an embodiment, the sanitizing device 11 further comprises presence detection means 18 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11 and adapted to detect the presence of at least one user inside the cockpit.

[0031]The aforementioned presence detection means 18 comprise, for example, at least one or more sensors from the following list: volumetric sensor, temperature sensor, infrared sensor.

[0032]By virtue of the presence of the detection means 18, the electronic control unit 11 can safely activate a sanitization cycle of the cockpit of the means of transport, e.g. by making the start of a sanitization cycle dependent on the absence of people inside the cockpit. Either conjointly or disjointly, the aforesaid presence detection means 18 allow the electronic control unit 11 to signal locally or remotely that a user is about to enter a cockpit that has not previously undergone a sanitization cycle after previous use of the means of transport by one or more users.

[0033]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises voice control means, adapted and configured to allow a user to locally issue voice commands to the sanitizing device, e.g. to initiate a sanitization cycle. The aforementioned voice control means include, for example, a microphone 17 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11. In this manner, in situations, for example, of emergency or malfunction in which, for various reasons, it is not possible to connect to the sanitizing device 10 through the radio communication interface 12, a sanitization cycle can still be started by a local voice command from a user.

[0034]According to a further embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises a body temperature sensor (not shown in the figure) operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11, which allows the device 10 to measure the body temperature of a user (or users) housed in the cockpit. This expedient has several advantages and indeed allows to inform the user of its state of health and/or to manage a sanitization cycle in a modulated manner as a function of the user's health conditions after leaving the cockpit and/or to inform a means of transport fleet manager that a user with a compromised and potentially dangerous state of health has traveled in the means of transport.

[0035]According to an embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises an air quality sensor 23 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11. For example, the air quality sensor 23 allows the air quality in the cockpit to be monitored by detecting, e.g., humidity and/or temperature and/or particulate matter (PM10 or PM2.5) and/or carbon dioxide and/or nitrogen monoxide, etc. Advantageously, the provision of an air quality sensor 23 allows to acquire information on the need to start a sanitization cycle or to verify the achievement of a correct saturation of the air in the cockpit with the sanitizing substance and the correct operation of the device 10. Either additionally or alternatively, the provision of an air quality sensor 23 allows to evaluate the actual performance of a sanitization cycle or the effectiveness of said cycle, e.g., by comparing at least one air quality measurement made before said cycle with at least one air quality measurement made after said cycle. The comparison may be carried out by the electronic control unit 11 and a signal carrying data related to the result of the comparison may be transmitted through the radio communication interface 12. Either additionally or alternatively, the acquired measurements may be remotely transmitted through the radio communication interface 12, so that such comparison may be performed by an external device (e.g., a smartphone 101) or a remote control system, e.g., an operational control center 102.

[0036]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 further comprises at least one filling sensor SI, S2 of the at least one tank Tl, T2 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11 to enable the electronic control unit 11 to detect the filling status of the tank Tl, T2. The electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured to signal the need to replace or refill the tank Tl, T2 if it detects that the filling status is insufficient, e.g. if the tank Tl, T2 is empty or is close to being emptied or contains an insufficient amount of sanitizing substance to perform a sanitization cycle. The aforementioned filling sensor SI, S2 comprises, for example, without introducing any limitation, one or more sensors from the following list: a fluid level sensor, a weight sensor, a pressure sensor, a flow sensor. According to an advantageous embodiment, the filling sensor SI, S2 is integrated into the motor Ml, M2. In this manner, the motor Ml, M2 can signal to the electronic control unit 11 that it cannot receive a sufficient amount of sanitizing substance.

[0037]Advantageously, the electronic control unit 11 upon the aforesaid signaling, or after a set or settable number of signaling operations, is such as to wait for the reception of a digital token through the radio communication interface 12 before activating the actuating means Ml, M2. Preferably, said digital token is managed through blockchain. The provision of a digital token advantageously allows the safe refilling or replacement of the tanks Tl, T2, avoiding the use of unauthorized replacement or refilling materials which could cause damage to the health of the users of the means of transport and/or the cockpit of the means of transport and/or the sanitizing device itself 10.

[0038] The digital tokens can be managed flexibly, e.g. assigned to a user or operator who has purchased replenishment or replacement equipment from an authorized dealer. Either alternatively or additionally to the use of said digital tokens for managing the refilling or replacement of the tanks Tl, T2, according to an embodiment, the electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured, i.e. programmed, to authorize the start of a sanitization cycle upon verification of a digital token representing a dispensing token, preferably managed through a blockchain. For example, this digital token may be sent to the sanitizing device 10 by a user through an application program installed onboard a personal communication device 101 (e.g., a smartphone) and/or sent by an operational control center 102 or a back-end server 102. According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 may be such as to store a packet of digital dispensing tokens, in a local memory unit, e.g. in an EEPROM. The electronic control unit 11 at each sanitization cycle verifies a digital token, deletes it, and sends a request for a replacement token, e.g. to the operational control center 102 or the back-end server 102, through the communication interface 12. If there is no response to the above request, the device 10 may still perform sanitization cycles by exploiting the packet tokens stored on the device 10 until all of them are exhausted, at which point the device 10 stops performing the sanitization cycles. This allows packets to be managed with limited and configurable numbers of pre-authorized tokens (e.g., equal to five or ten) available in the event of a failed connection to the operations center 102 or back-end server 102.

[0039]According to an advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises a self-supporting container body 20, containing the electronic control unit 11, the at least one tank Tl, T2 and the actuating means Ml, M2 and adapted to be removably positioned in the cockpit of the means of transport and/or in a trunk of the means of transport. In this manner, it is advantageous to equip a means of transport that is initially lacking a sanitation system 10 with one. Furthermore, it is particularly easy to move the sanitization system 10 from one means of transport to another. In other words, it does not exclude in any case that the sanitization system 10 may be designed to be integrated into the means of transport and/or immovably attached thereto.

[0040]The container body 20 preferably comprises fastening means, e.g., such as by way of non-limiting example, a fastening base 21 or a fastening plate 21, which allow the sanitizing device 10 to be fixed to an interior wall of the cockpit of the means of transport or a luggage compartment thereof, either removably or immovably.

[0041]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises one or more flexible outlet pipes Cl, C2 operatively connected to said actuating means Ml, M2 and/or to said at least one tank Tl, T2 to be fed with said substance and having at least one free end portion for the release of said substance and the diffusion thereof into the cockpit. For example, such one or more flexible outlet pipes Cl, C2 are external to the housing body 20. The provision of one or more flexible outlet pipes Cl, C2 facilitates installation operations and allows to increase the effectiveness of sanitization, e.g. such flexible pipes Cl, C2 can be routed under the linings of the cockpit, in pipes of the cockpit (e.g., in ventilation pipes) or above the roof lining wall of the cockpit. Furthermore, such flexible pipes Cl, C2 allow the sanitizing device 10 to be installed in a luggage compartment and still allow the sanitization of the cockpit. [0042] Furthermore, in an even more advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 comprises at least diffusion device Nl, N2, such as a nozzle and/or a fan and/or a sprinkler, attached to a free end portion of a respective flexible pipe Cl, C2. In such a manner, the substance can be more effectively diffused within the cockpit.

[0043]According to a particularly advantageous embodiment, the sanitizing device 10 further comprises an image acquisition device 25 operatively connected to the electronic control unit 11. For example, the image acquisition device 25 comprises a camera, a video camera or generally at least one image sensor. The electronic control unit 11 is adapted and configured to activate the image acquisition device 25 to acquire at least one digital image, or a video stream of digital images, during the execution of a sanitization cycle, in particular to film the interior of the cockpit of the means of transport 100 during the sanitization cycle. According to a further advantageous embodiment, the electronic control unit 11 is such as to send the at least one acquired image or video stream through the radio communication interface 12. In this manner, it is possible to have an optical feedback on the effective execution of a sanitization cycle. The acquired image or video may be sent through the radio communication interface 12 to the personal communication device 101 and/or the operational control center 102.

[0044]A sanitizing device 10 of the type described thus far may be used in a stand-alone mode. However, for relatively large volume cockpits, a sanitizing device 10 of the type described above may be connected in a network to other sanitizing devices 10 of the same or similar type intended to be used for sanitizing the cockpit of the same means of transport 100. In this case, for example, the radio communication interface 12 and the electronic control unit 11 are adapted and configured to operatively connect the sanitizing device 10 to one or more sanitizing devices to create a network of sanitizing devices 10 operating in mutual symbiosis, preferably positioned among them in a spatially distributed manner.

[0045]A sanitizing device 10 of the type described above, by virtue of the provision of the communication interface 12, may communicate with a user of the transportation means 100 through an application program (APP) either installed or installable aboard a personal communication device 101, through a short-range and/or long-range wireless link. Therefore, it is a further object of the present invention is a group of parts comprising:

- an application program installed or installable on a personal communication device 101 or non-personal communication device, such as a smartphone or tablet or other electronic computing apparatus;

- a sanitizing device 10 according to any of the previously described embodiments, wherein the application program is adapted and configured to directly or indirectly send a radio signal requesting sanitization to the electronic control unit 11.

[0046]Thus, with reference to figure 2, a sanitizing device 10 is part of a sanitization system 200 that may include a personal communication device 101 and/or an operational control center 102 or a back-end server 102. The sanitizing device 10 may communicate directly over a telecommunications network 50 with the operational control center 102 or the back-end server 102 if it is provided with a long-range radio communication interface 12. The sanitizing device 10 may communicate directly with the personal communication device 101, such as if the radio communication interface 12 includes a short-range communication interface, such as a WiFi or Bluetooth interface. Furthermore, through the personal communication device 101, it is possible to make the sanitizing device 10 communicate with the operational control center 102 or the back end server 102, this is regardless of whether the sanitizing device 10 can also communicate directly with the operational control center 102 or the back end server 102, i.e., without the intermediary of the personal communication device 101. [0047]From the above, it is apparent that a sanitizing device

10 of the type described above allows to fully achieve the set objects in terms of overcoming the drawbacks of the prior art.

[0048]Without prejudice to the principle of the invention, the embodiments and the constructional details may be broadly varied relative to the above description disclosed by way of non-limiting example, without departing from the scope of the invention as defined in the appended claims.