Electric Scooters as First Responders?
Can electric scooters be used as emergency vehicles? The Italian designers of the Inmed medical electric scooter think so. This conceptual vehicle uses a front wheel-mounted 450W motor and 36V battery rated for 12 miles (20 km) of range. It’s got a short, wide deck for front-facing riding, a single rear mechanical disc brake (and possible electronic front brake?), emergency lighting in the hand grips, and a medkit affixed to the front with alcohol, scissors, gauze, and other first aid essentials inside.
The scooter features a touchscreen display with battery percentage, temperature, and other essential data, like current speed and distance traveled, as well as a built-in GPS to guide first responders to the scene. The simplicity of its design seems ideal for mass production and distribution, although there’s no word on the materials the designers envision using or the overall weight of the scooter. The scooter also seems to have no folding mechanism and appears to use solid tires.
Agility and Access
One huge potential benefit of using electric scooters as emergency vehicles is their agility. Electric scooters are much more maneuverable than cars, allowing them to navigate through heavy traffic and around tight corners. This could be incredibly beneficial in an emergency situation, as it would allow emergency personnel to quickly reach the scene of an accident or other emergency in crowded urban areas where cars and ambulances get trapped in gridlock.
Electric scooters can travel on bike paths, through alleyways, and other places ambulances can’t go, allowing first responders to find faster routes to the scene of an accident. Scooters can sprint through airport terminals and shopping mall hallways, and in an emergency medical situation, every second counts. Getting to the scene of an accident or medical emergency as fast as possible is critical. It might look a little toy-like, but the Inmed could be a life-saving device.
We’d love to see some improvements to this concept design, like a folding stem and handlebars to make it easier to transport and store in larger emergency vehicles, or a rear-mounted motor for better traction, and a lot more lighting. We can also imagine much beefier, dual-motor versions of these vehicles, with bigger batteries for longer range and off-road capability for injuries on the trail or places with especially rough roads: scooters that could take on hills in places like San Francisco and carry Big Dawg first responders without slowing down.
So yes, it could use some upgrades, but overall the Inmed medical scooter is a brilliant concept for an electric scooter that could literally save lives. Let’s hope we see something like it, with improvements, in mass production soon – or maybe see first responders adapting scooters like the awesome Apollo Phantom or Wolf Warrior X GT to access hard-to-reach triage situations.