Hurricane Florence is approaching the East Coast of the US, and is predicted to bring with it catastrophic flooding, high winds, as well as a life-threatening storm surge and rain in North and South Carolina. As a result, both GM and Tesla have remotely activated features in their cars that could be of use in an evacuation.
As it did last year prior to Hurricane Irma, Tesla has temporarily activated Supercharging on older cars that didn't have it enabled when they were purchased, and unlocked extra battery capacity on certain vehicles (Model S and X cars that only purchased 60kWh but have 75kWh batteries). A Tesla owner's club for the "Triangle" region has collected relevant info for potential evacuees, and said that owners should see a notification on their screen about the change.
For GM, it has activated OnStar Crisis Assist for owners of Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles with the feature built-in. Its representatives will handle overflow calls to the Red Cross, while pressing the button in the car will give access to people who can help with the following:
- Real-time routing information for those needing to evacuate or navigate disaster zones
- Assistance locating vital resources like hotels, gas, food, water or medical supplies
- Complimentary Hands Free Calling minutes in order to connect with loved ones
- Wi-Fi, if downloaded to the vehicle, to keep people connected and informed during the storm
- First responder communication so they can help locate vehicles and assist before arriving
#Florence is expected to bring a life-threatening storm surge to portions of eastern North & South Carolina, and catastrophic flash flooding and prolonged significant river flooding are likely over portions of the Carolinas and the southern/central Appalachians. pic.twitter.com/j6HZco1Tsc— National Hurricane Center (@NHC_Atlantic) September 14, 2018
OnStar Crisis Assist Advisors are ready to help those impacted by #HurricaneFlorence. If you find yourself in a dangerous situation, just push your OnStar button for assistance. You can also check out our hurricane preparedness tips here: https://t.co/QGwrrfC7xW #BeSafeOutThere pic.twitter.com/Hp3ECbEPeJ— OnStar (@OnStar) September 11, 2018
In any natural disaster situation like this, our policy is to make Superchargers free of use in order to optimize evacuation routes for affected customers https://t.co/SOUlKv3UUZ— Tesla (@Tesla) September 13, 2018