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General Motors, Tesla Lend a Helping Hand to Car Owners in Dorian’s Path

Hurricane Dorian hit the Bahamas, leaving a trail of devastation behind and is now on its way to Florida. Certain areas are still under evacuation, and GM and Tesla are doing their part to help people driving out of the state, to safety.
GM, Tesla unlock features on their connected car networks to help drivers get out of Hurricane Dorian's path 15 photos
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Like they’ve done before, General Motors and Tesla are leveraging certain features on their connected car networks to offer assistance for hurricane relief. Elon Musk has already confirmed on Twitter that Tesla will provide free Supercharging and unlock the range of some models. He did not say which these were.

Cheaper Tesla models are software-locked for limited ranges. In 2017, with Hurricane Irma, and in 2018 with Florence and Michael, through OTA updates, Tesla temporarily extended the range on Model S and Model X 60D, both of which are software-locked to 60kWh. Unlocking the range is possible otherwise, but for a fee: on these particular occasions, Tesla offered the update for free, extending the average range by about 30 miles. This isn’t a lot, but it can make a big difference in a crisis situation.

Meanwhile, GM will offer free OnStar Crisis Assist to owners, with the goal of helping them reach a safe place out of Dorian’s reach, ArsTechnica reports. Post-2006 GMCs, Chevrolets, Cadillacs and Buicks with OnStar hardware should all receive the free service.

“GM says that its OnStar advisors can help route people away from danger or toward resources like shelter, food, and water; the service can even help with booking hotel rooms where feasible. OnStar-equipped vehicles will get free hands-free calling minutes and data for the cars' LTE hotspots, and the OnStar nerve center will help out with coordinating emergency rescue and evacuation services,” the report explains.

Other preparations for Hurricane Dorian include Miami authorities asking scooter rental companies like Lyft, Bird, Lime, Bolt and Uber’s Jump, to remove all scooters from the streets. Other cities in Florida have also been cleared of scooters, which could become airborne with the strong winds expected.



 
 
 
 
 

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