With the coronavirus pandemic still spreading across the globe, many health departments have bemoaned the fact that they are overwhelmed. One of the major problems is the lack of ventilators and other healthcare equipment. In a change reminiscent of war times, car manufacturers have diverted their manufacturing plants to medical equipment (rather than tanks and planes).
Tesla is building ventilators as well to help with the effort. Interestingly, the car manufacturers can use some of the car parts they had already had available, meaning they can get them out quicker rather than later.
The company has shared a video highlighting what they are doing and how they are using car parts they know really well to design a ventilator.
For example, Tesla’s ventilator uses the Model 3 infotainment system to power a Model 3 vehicle computer, which in turn, controls an air flow manifold. A suspension air tank is used as an oxygen mixing chamber. Among other parts, the team is also employing a Model 3 touchscreen as a controller.
On the other side of the country Ford is working with General Electric building ventilators, but they’re also building vents, face shields and respirators. They have recently announced that they intend to product 50,000 face masks per day, easing the burden on the healthcare system as they struggle to get supplies.
They will use their 3D printing technology to manufacture the key pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the health workers on the frontlines.
“We have had preliminary discussions with the U.S. and U.K. governments and looking into the feasibility,” Ford spokesperson Rachel McCleery said in a statement. “It’s vital that we all pull together to help the country weather this crisis and come out the other side stronger than ever.”