Over the past few weeks several car manufacturers have pivoted to building ventilators to help with coronavirus-related shortages throughout the world. This includes Tesla, which just released a behind-the-scenes video of its prototypes.
Tesla CEO Elon Musk originally scoffed at the panic around COVID-19. In addition to calling it “dumb” on Twitter, he sent an email around to his Space X employees in mid-March stating that car crashes are more dangerous than the virus.
By March 26 Musk publicly changed his tune. “We will do whatever is needed to help during these difficult times, he said on Twitter. He went onto announce that Tesla’s Giga factory in new York would re-open for ventilator production.
Giga New York will reopen for ventilator production as soon as humanly possible. We will do anything in our power to help the citizens of New York.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 25, 2020
Now Tesla has released a video that provides a glimpse at the design process for Tesla’s ventilators. One of the reasons companies like Tesla, GM and Ford have been able to work on ventilators with relative ease is because car parts are so readily available – especially as regular car manufacturing has largely ceased across the world.
As an example, Tesla’s video clearly shows which parts of its ventilators are made from car parts. You get to see a suspension air tank that has been converted into an oxygen mixing chamber, as well as an infotainment system from the Model 3 being used as a controller and to control an air flow manifold.
The engineers not only explain why ventilators are important and how they work, but also show off one of the prototypes that Tesla has been working on. It’s really fascinating and somewhat heart warming. As one of the engineers says, they’re giving it all they’ve got. Fingers crossed they can get some finished ventilators out to those who need it soon.
You can watch the full video below.
General Motors and Ford are researching the possibility of revamping their plants from shuttered car manufacturing sites to actively building ventilators to help treat those sickened with Coronavirus.Read more