As the U.S. reels in its fight against the COVID-19 pandemic, many hospitals in several states are facing a lack of ventilators. Car manufacturer Tesla steps in and is attempting to convert its Model 3 car parts for the creation of ventilators to help manage the shortage.
Ventilators are crucial for the life support of COVID-19 patients.
Earlier in March, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Twitter that the company will be creating ventilators in response to the shortage. A few days ago, Musk announced that they have acquired extra FDA-approved ventilators that they will be donating not only to U.S. hospitals but also worldwide.
We have extra FDA-approved ventilators. Will ship to hospitals worldwide within Tesla delivery regions. Device & shipping cost are free. Only requirement is that the vents are needed immediately for patients, not stored in a warehouse. Please me or @Tesla know.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 31, 2020
TESLA to use Model 3 Infotainment for ventilator prototypes
This week, Tesla announced that it is utilizing its advanced infotainment system as the main processor for the ventilator prototype.
Engineering update on the Tesla ventilator
— Tesla (@Tesla) April 5, 2020
These infotainment systems are the lifeblood of all Tesla Model 3 cars. They control the maintenance, entertainment, and general info on the car’s status.
Used in the ventilator setup, the infotainment system will be used as the motherboard that controls the flowing and pumping of the air for its user. Its built-in screen shall serve as the user interface for ease of access to the device.
‘As soon as humanly possible’
Tesla has committed that its New York Tesla factory shall be mobilized as the main producer of these ventilators.
This commitment comes with a humanitarian catch that they shall only produce the ventilators only when it is “humanly possible.” The statement was made after Musk donated 1,255 free ventilators and several thousands of free masks.
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
Melissa DeRosa, top aide to New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, said in a press conference last April 5 that Tesla was manufacturing just a single part of the ventilator, “not the entire machine.” She added:
“They’re trying to ramp up to get up and running as soon as possible […] but nothing’s materialized yet.”
Presently, it is not only Tesla that is racing against time to produce their own ventilators. Companies such as Dyson, General Motors, and MIT are also in the run to fill the gap on the ventilator shortage.