Updated: April 6, 2020 12:28:16 pm
As US hospitals brace surge in COVID-19 patients, Tesla has started developing a ventilator prototype that uses parts of its high-tech Tesla cars. The carmaker on Sunday posted a video on YouTube featuring a group of engineers showing off a prototype ventilator built with automobile parts.
“We have been working on developing our own ventilator designs specifically one that’s heavily based on Tesla car parts we want to use parts that we know really well we know the reliability of and we can go really fast when they’re available in volume,” said Joseph Mardall, Tesla’s engineering director.
The prototype ventilator shown in the video uses a touchscreen display used in Model 3 electric cars that measures the intake of oxygen into the lungs and removing carbon dioxide from the body. A ventilator is a medical device that provides a patient with oxygen when they are unable to breathe on their own.
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It’s not clear when Tesla will be able to able to kick start the mass production of ventilators as they are yet to tested and approved by FDA. Last month, Elon Musk who owns Tesla and SpaceX said that the company planned to deliver FAD-approved ventilators for free to hospitals to those regions where Tesla delivers its cars.
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 is one of the several companies in the US that are developing ventilators. General Motors (GM) and Ford have also started building ventilators to be used in hospitals across the US, which is the worst impacted by COVID-19. Dyson too has designed and built a new ventilator, called the “CoVen,” that it plans to deliver to the UK government.
The shortage of ventilators in the US, especially in New York, is a major concern for health agencies. Because of the spread of the pandemic in the US, the number of hospitals is in dire need of ventilators. Many fear that they will run out of ventilators soon. The US is now reporting over 337,000 cases of COVID-19 with 9618 dead.
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