Auto briefs: Veterans reunion, conservation, quantum computers

The reunion of a wounded soldier and the medic who saved his life, the conservation certification of several sites, and a partnership to develop quantum computers were among the items promoted by automakers recently.

  • GMC recently reunited two Army veterans: a soldier who lost his legs in an IED explosion in Afghanistan in 2012 and the medic who saved his life. Army Medic Steven Rooker stabilized Staff Sgt. Eric Myers until he could be evacuated for treatment. The automaker brought the two men together for the first time since the incident as part of its work for the Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation and its Building for America's Bravest program. This program builds smart homes for seriously injured veterans, and GMC pledged more than $2 million toward this effort in 2017.
  • As part of its efforts to improve biodiversity, General Motors has earned Conservation Certification from the Wildlife Habitat Council at 11 sites. The automaker had previously earned this certification at 60 sites, and is now almost 80 percent toward its goal to be certified at all of its facilities. The certification recognizes areas that provide meaningful wildlife habitat management as well as conservation education programs. GM says it currently manages more than 5,000 acres of habitat in 14 countries.
  • Volkswagen is partnering with Google to research quantum computers, which can solve complex tasks more quickly than conventional supercomputers. Volkswagen Group IT says it will specifically focus on how quantum computers can be used for traffic optimization, creating new materials such as high performance electric vehicle batteries, and machine learning. The automaker says the last field is a key step in the development of advanced artificial intelligence, which will be necessary to guide self-driving vehicles.

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