COVID-19

General Motors, Ventec Life Systems team up to aid respiratory care product production

GM is teaming up with Ventec Life Systems to help with the production of respiratory care products.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

Though General Motors plants are idled by the outbreak of COVID-19, colloquially known as coronavirus, General Motors is stepping up to use their logistics, purchasing, and manufacturing knowledge to aid Ventec Life Systems with the manufacturing of respiratory car products.

The partnership is in cooperation with StopTheSpread.org, the nation's coordinated private sector response to the COVID-19.

According to a statement, "Ventec will leverage GM's logistics, purchasing and manufacturing expertise to build more of their critically important ventilators." This statement does not explicitly say that GM will manufacture ventilators, rather that they will be a resource for Ventec.

"With GM's help, Ventec will increase ventilator production," said Chris Kiple, Ventec Life Systems CEO. "By tapping their expertise, GM is enabling us to get more ventilators to more hospitals much faster. This partnership will help save lives."

StopTheSpread.org has committed to continuing to unite business leaders nationwide to collect resources to complement and support government efforts to battle the outbreak and its consequences.

"We are grateful for the partnership between GM and Ventec Life Systems, which will enable Ventec to drastically scale production of critically needed respiratory care products. This is a vital step in delivering relief to our healthcare system, which is threatened by the spread of COVID-19. As this virus continues to endanger the lives of countless Americans, StopTheSpread.org is working to unite the business community around a common threat to our economy and our way of life. We know the strength of this effort relies on urgent coordination between the public and private sectors in order to get through this crisis."

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The new Maps+ app will allow drivers to use a navigation system who had not previously purchased navigation.

Photo courtesy of General Motors

General Motors is giving its vehicles a new navigation solution. Maps+, an in-vehicle, app-based way-finding program, will begin rolling out to approximately 900,000 model year 2018 and newer Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles by the end of 2021, starting on April 30.

"We know customers want an easy and convenient in-vehicle experience that improves over time," said Santiago Chamorro, GM vice president of Global Connected Services. "We listened to customer feedback and developed a product that works seamlessly with our current infotainment systems and provides a highly personalized experience that will iterate throughout the lifetime of the vehicle."

Maps+ was developed in partnership with Mapbox. The new app replaces navigation functionality in already-purchased vehicles that had purchased a navigation system. It provides navigation functionality to drivers of vehicles that did not opt for navigation at the onset.

The new application features Alexa build-in voice control that allows users to listen to music or podcasts using the system's integrated audio apps. A search box allows users to find points of interest, shops, restaurants, parking, and more. There is also embedded speed alert, low fuel recognition, predictive keyboard entry, day and night modes, category shortcuts, rear-time traffic routing, and dynamic mapping capability.

"Our obsession is the driver," said Peter Sirota, CEO of Mapbox. "The map is the canvas for providing the driver with a delightful, easy-to-use experience. From discovering new places to avoiding traffic on your commute to paying at the pump or the plug, Maps+ lays the foundation for an excellent navigation experience. We are excited to build upon this with GM to continue to drive adoption."

GM and Mapbox are committed to continuing Maps+ post-launch, developing new features and improvements based on feedback and metrics.

Maps+ will be available on select vehicles through Connected Vehicle, Premium and App Access subscription plans. Current eligible Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac owners will be notified when their vehicle is eligible for Maps+.

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New photos show what is alleged to be the new Nissan Z.

Photo by AutomotiveMap/courtesy of @_nycarculture_ on Instagram

It's a code red at Nissan. Pictures of an alleged new Nissan Z car have been leaked ahead of the model's official unveiling. Instagram user "Brandon" (@laidout4dc) published four photos of what looks like the upcoming Nissan 400Z on his Instagram feed.

The photos show front, back, and side views of the car. It looks nearly identical to the Z Proto Nissan showed off last September, giving the photos validity.

At the front, the photos show a car that has a definitive eye toward its 350Z heritage. A The modern touches of eye-like LED headlights and unique grille mesh are carried over from the prototype into this model. Right up front on its hood is the new Nissan logo, covered by a protective film commonly used in the auto industry.

The rear gives off all sorts of modern and retro vibes. There's a wing on this Z that there wasn't on the Z Proto. It's kept the dual exhaust and Tron-inspired taillights from the September model.

Nissan has put the fuel filler door on the rear passenger side of the coupe and given it door handles that look more passable than the ones on the Z Proto. It rides on 10-spoke black wheels wrapped in performance tires.

The car is shown with a two-tone paint scheme, something that's also carried over from the prototype. This model appears to have the bulk painted a silver/gunmetal color rather than the striking lemon-lime of the model. "Z" badging is seen on the car at the end of the window glass on the passenger side back haunch.

Interior shots of the car show a model that has nearly identical styling to the Z Proto's. There is an automatic transmission rather than the six-speed gearbox that the Z Proto was originally shown with, as well as USB ports and switchgear for what could be heated seats.

The all-digital instrument panel is similar to the one found in the new Pathfinder while the wheel is unique and features a "Z" logo at its center. A traction control button appears to be located to the left of the steering wheel, on the dashboard.

Is this for sure the real thing? The new Nissan Z is set to be officially unveiled later this year. We'll find out more then. In the meantime, you can listen to the roar from its tailpipe.

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