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How The Automobile Industry Overcomes The COVID-19 Epidemic

Photo by Holger Grünwald from Burst


Coronavirus has affected every facet of our lives. The things we see are changes to the way we shop, dine out and work. The global pandemic has affected all work situations. Suppliers stalled, manufacturers panicked, and the world was a very different place almost overnight. One of the industries that had to think on its feet was the automobile industry. The advice went from sharing a ride to minimize the effect on the planet to staying away from others. Something had to change. In addition, manufacturers were hit with a shortage of parts and a shortage of labor. So, how did they make a change?

Tesla are a prime example of innovation in action. Their idea of reinventing the wheel has enabled them to steal a march on their competition, becoming the biggest car brand in the world in a relatively short period of time. In the period of the pandemic, they were able to switch their manufacturing to help deal with the scarcity of respiratory ventilators. Their philosophy of adapting to new challenges rapidly, allowed them to pivot their focus from automobiles to life-saving devices.

How Did Tesla Do This?

Great question. If Tesla had simply followed existing plans for ventilators used by others, then they might not have been able to move with as much agility as they did. They would be hit by the same supply chain issues as the rest of the industry – and would be competing with the medical industry to produce the exact same thing. So, they used the parts they knew they could procure – many of the same parts they used in the manufacture of their cars.

They wanted to use parts that they already knew from a reliability perspective – parts that they knew inside out. Tesla being Tesla, we don’t have access to all of their secrets. But what we do have is a good idea of the ability of automotive manufacturers to change the way they do things for the better.

The Rest Of The Industry

The automotive industry is about so much more than making cars. And we will go back to automobile manufacture later in this article. But let’s first take a detour…

Did you know that the road network change by as much as 15% every year?  And in the times of the pandemic, these changes were bigger than ever. Road closures, diversions and change of use transformed the way we use our road network. This means that GPS devices need to be updated in real time to allow road users to get the most accurate information possible. The smooth flow of traffic (and the associated economic benefits) depends on it.

The people at TomTom, among others, have a process that enables them to communicate these changes via their devices. This process is –

  • Monitoring changes in regulation and contacting the relevant authority
  • Recording the impact of the event via feedback from connected devices
  • Validating the outcomes via mass data software
  • Communicating this issue to users

And then this becomes a continual process, where the effects of a change can be felt for different periods of time depending on circumstances. The guys at TomTom reported well over 4,000 changes to the global road network during the pandemic. This is a huge amount of ongoing work.

And then we come to the devices themselves. Many of us get around by using maps apps on our smartphones. In the days of the pandemic, we’ve been told that using a smartphone poses certain risks of transmission of COVID and other viruses. The average smartphone is six times dirtier than a toilet seat. But it doesn’t have to be…

The ACLIV screen protector keeps your smartphone screen clean and safe. The film kills 99.9% of viruses including H1N1 and COVID19 within 30 minutes of contact time. Exposed surfaces remain virus free when tested again at one hour and then at twenty-four hours.

The Design Of Cars

We don’t want our homes to be a safe place only for us to run the risk of contracting COVID when we step into our car. To this end, car manufacturers can make some simple alterations to make us all safer. Many cars have touchscreens. Using screen protectors, as described above can help when cars are used by multiple people, as in families and car shares as well as car hire. We are sure that car rental places have very high standards of cleanliness given the pandemic. But having that extra protection for one of the most touched parts of a car gives peace of mind as well as looking after their customers.

The air we breathe in a car can carry the COVID virus as well as others. Using high quality air filters will help kill the viruses in the air. The ACLIV air filters are ideal to ensure that the air we breathe is safe – testing at 99.9% effective against the coronavirus. Wouldn’t it be good if the automobile industry adopted ACLIV air filters as standard?

This goes for the factories that cars are manufactured in too. Looking after the workforce enhances productivity and boosts morale among the workforce. Both of these have been hailed as major contributing factors in the success of any organization. Cleanliness is health. Health is productivity. Productivity equals profits.


The Future

The automobile industry is another that will see a very different future. Governments are legislating against the sale of new diesel and petrol cars in the next decade or so. This is only one challenge they face. A new public perception of what is safe has driven all industries to look again at what they do and how they do it. Innovative solution providers such as ACLIV can partner with all industries to provide safety as standard.

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