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Our Prototypes column introduces new vehicle concepts and presents visuals from designers who illustrate the ideas. Some of them will be extensions of existing concepts, others will be new, some will be production ready, and others really far-fetched.

The concept

The Klinix concept is a new generation of vehicle that could be defined as a Medical Taxi. Specifically, it would be designed to transport sick or injured people for medical treatment. These taxis can be used as an alternative when a full-sized North American style ambulance and team are not needed. These taxicabs would provide a quieter, smoother ride than an ambulance and be more cost effective to operate. With its large side hatch and easy access, the Klinix is designed to be a more convenient option for transport than a sedan or minivan, while remaining just as easy to operate (See also : Surviver Concept)

The background

Not everyone needs an ambulance to go to a medical facility or to bring him or her back home. This new kind of taxi could carry people to medical facilities at a fraction of the cost of an ambulance, which normally includes two ER technicians. The Klinix would be the same size as current North American Mini-vans. However, its side access door would be designed so that persons in mobility devices could be loaded easily and safely inside the vehicle. The Klinix could be powered by conventional fuel engines or by in wheel electric motors.

Klinix Charles Bombardier Charles Bombardier

How it works

The Klinix's passenger bay would be designed with a low floor to make it easier to move persons with limited mobility inside the vehicle. This bay would incorporate hidden seats in the floor for regular patients who are able to sit and buckle up. These retractable seats would deploy electronically with the touch of a button activated by the driver and would be similar to the stow and go seats found on Chrysler minivans.

A clear divider would isolate the driver from the passengers to reduce risk of contamination when passengers carry a virus or other airborne diseases. Inside the patient's bay, there could be items like a trash bin, storage for facial tissues, bottled water, and other amenities designed to make the trip more comfortable. A good communication system – including a traffic LCD display – would be installed in the Klinix so people in the back would be able to clearly hear the driver and communicate with him or her easily. Finally, the ceiling would be equipped with coloured LED lights with dimmers to calm travellers as they ride to the their destination.

What it's used for

Consider the number of facilities and care centers that routinely transport persons with limited mobility. From hospitals and care centers to retirement homes and surgery centers, the need is present. Most facilities either call for an ambulance, or use modified mini-vans, which have been fitted with aftermarket accessories. Ambulances are expensive to operate and require a specialized crew. Modified vans are attempting to alter the designed use of a vehicle to fit a need. The Klinix is a vehicle designed specifically for the purpose of transporting impaired and injured persons, and could be easily operated by any licensed driver. Whether it is a retirement community that needs a versatile transporter, or an emergency medical facility looking for a convenient and low-cost option to a traditional ambulance, the Klinix taxi is the answer.

The designer

I would like to thank Abhishek Roy who created the image of the Klinix. Roy is the founder of Lunatic Koncepts, a start-up design lab based in India. Roy's team also created the renderings for the Alert airship, and the Hexarig 8WD truck.

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