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The Globe and Mail

SurvivER: Is this the ambulance of the future?

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 SurvivER is a prototype of a new generation of ambulance that would be quieter, smoother to ride, and easier to work in, compared to existing models.

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Charles Bombardier Charles Bombardier  

The Background

I've asked a few ER doctors how ambulances could be improved. One key problem is the suspension system of current models, which shakes around the patient and the staff in the back . The second problem is the noise from the siren, which makes it difficult to communicate with the driver and the hospital.

To solve these key problems, I started working on a new ambulance design. These early sketches were created to start the discussion on the subject.

How it works

The SurvivER would be the same size as the current North American ambulance. It would be powered by four powerful in-wheel electric motors, which means that you wouldn't have a bulky engine in the front, leaving space for batteries.

The low floor of the rear cargo bay would make it easier to move the stretchers inside. This bay would incorporate a seat for the medical staff , along with foldable jumper seats.

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The walls have specific spaces to install the oxygen tanks and solutes. The vehicle would feature large tinted windows on the sides, and outside noises could be dampened by sound insulation material and a noise reduction system like the ones found in airplanes.

The ceiling would have two sets of LED lights with dimmers. One coloured set would provide lights for the patients, so they are not confined to a dark box. The other set of LEDs could be located on the side bench pointing towards the floor.

One major problem in ambulances is the vibration that comes from the road.

The SurvivER should thus be equipped with the best possible suspension on the market, possibly the Bose active suspension system. It could also feature a second suspension system built under the stretcher, or a system that would hold the whole cargo bay.

An excellent communication system should be installed so that the driver and people in the back could communicate easily. A Bluetooth cellphone microphone and speaker systems would make it easier to talk with the hospitals.

Charles Bombardier Charles Bombardier  

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What's it used for

The SurvivER would be used as an ambulance to replace existing fleets. I am not certain the front windshield should be as large as the current image shows, or if the rear cargo bay should be separated from the frame by a suspension. Your ideas and comments are welcome on every matter concerning this project.

Charles Bombardier is a member of the family that owns Quebec-based Bombardier Inc. and Bombardier Recreational Products (BRP), which are in the business of designing and manufacturing vehicles.

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