After two years of work, the results of a project to imagine the ambulance of the future have been unveiled, and the results are exactly as gee-whiz, what-will-they-think-of-next as you hoped. Dubbed "Healthcare on the Move: The Smartpods Project", it was funded by the U.K.'s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, and just displayed at the Royal College of Art. In all, six concepts were created.
The ambulances are all intriguing, and pie-in-the-sky. The rendering above shows an in-home emergency care vehicle—it's been estimated that with the right set of tools, up to 50% of ambulance calls might be treatable on site. But the tools don't exist, so the Smartpods project suggests a vehicle that can be fitted with interchangeable "shells" to suit whatever task is at hand, from taking X-rays, to performing medical tests, to administering immunizations.
Batman or James Bond would both enjoy a ride in the one pictured above, it's an ambulance suited for war zones and disaster areas. It's kitted with ejector seats to literally launch paramedics into the thick of action, along with all their necessary gear. Other concepts include one ambulance with silicone walls that morph to suit the emergency, a bendy vehicle capable of maneuvering in hard-to-reach rural areas, and another with a blow-up treatment tent that expands at the accident site (below).