Future ambulances taking shape



Designers at the Royal College of Art have crafted the ambulances of the future, and despite how futuristic they look you and your car could be moving aside for one of them within four years.
The designs are the result of a two-year Government funded project called Healthcare On The Move, which put money forward for designers to envisage some of the most innovative, life-saving vehicles imaginable. Ideas include an ambulance with ejector seats to help paramedics move quickly, a vehicle with a detachable shell to increase treatment space (and that can be left at the scene of an accident), and one with a main compartment crafted in silicon so it can be adapted to suit different emergencies.
Like any set of futuristic vehicle concepts, the designs look otherworldly to the extreme, but doctors and the ambulance service have been involved in the design process and one of them could be at working prototype stage within four years. The purpose of the project is to advance the administration of treatment at the scene of accidents, which is often currently hampered by ambulances and emergency cars with inadequate operating space.
Rob Thompson, a designer at the Royal College of Art, said: “Our students are designing for top manufacturers like Mercedes and BMW. We've got designs which show how you can take a slice of hospital into the community.”
Professor Dale Harrow, Head of the Department of Vehicle Design and Principle Investigator on the project says: “Our research shows that delivering urgent healthcare more efficiently and effectively poses a range of challenges. But it also presents many opportunities, especially in terms of improving the patient experience, safety of the patients and staff, fewer journeys and a reduced carbon footprint.”
The Healthcare On The Move exhibition is open to the public until April 8 at the Royal College of Art, London.

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