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DETROIT — General Motors said it’s sharing with the public some of the workplace safety technology it has developed as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The automaker Wednesday outlined three of the new technologies in use at various GM locations to promote safety in the fight against coronavirus transmission.
“We had to respond quickly to the challenges the COVID-19 pandemic created for our workforce,” GM Chief Information Officer Randy Mott said in a statement. “Our teams collaborated online with experts around the world to quickly innovate and support the safe return of our employees to the workplace. We know many of these challenges affect others globally. We felt it important to share our innovation so other companies, organizations and institutions could benefit from our experience.”
The software code and hardware plans for the three technologies are available to all developers as open-source software on GitHub along with instructions, GM spokesman David Caldwell told Automotive News.
One of the technologies is a thermal scanning kiosk that uses an infrared thermal camera to take employee temperatures upon building entry. The kiosk takes the place of a person administering temperature checks, limiting human contact and speeding the process. It’s in use at GM plants in Lansing and Flint in Michigan and at the IT Innovation Center in Austin, Texas, Caldwell said.
GM also developed COVID Watch, an open-source contact-tracing application that sends social distancing reminders. GM is also testing a mobile app that will track whom a person has been in contact with, which can help medical staff reach employees who had contact with a worker who tested positive. That software should be released soon, the company said.
Touchless printing is also being used at GM plants and offices through a mobile application. Employees scan a QR code at the printer rather than touch the printer’s control panel.
“Touchless printing is a first step, as the team is also working on using technology to make other daily activities more hands-free,” Tony Bolton, GM’s chief information officer of global telecommunications and end-user services, said in a statement.