Israeli automotive startup City Transformer, the firm that has developed the world’s first vehicle capable of folding and changing its width as a solution to city’s traffic and parking problems, has partnered with emergency medical response organization United Hatzalah to incorporate its all-electric compact vehicles into the organization’s fleet.
The deal will allow United Hatzalah’s network of volunteers to locate one of the City Transformer’s car-sharing vehicles in various cities in Israel and use it to respond to medical emergencies in the area when needed. The USD 22 million deal is for 1,000 units. Up to 50 vehicles will be provided upfront, with several hundred more units expected to join within the next five years, United Hatzalah said in an announcement last week.
United Hatzalah is a free, volunteer-based emergency medical services organization based in Jerusalem that operates a network of trained volunteers with specially equipped motorcycle ambulances to assist those in need of medical intervention during an emergency.
Founded in 2014, City Transformer vehicles take up the space of a regular car on the road but shrink to the size of a motorcycle to fit into narrow traffic lanes and parking spots. As the sides of the cars compress, the cabin does not shrink, allowing the driver to even begin folding the vehicle while driving at low speed.
Using the folding mechanism, the car saves up to 75% of parking space, the company says. While the car is 2.35 meters long and 1.4 meters wide, it can contract to just one meter in parking mode. City Transformer’s initial solution was intended to alleviate congestion caused by traffic and parking on city streets in urban areas. United Hatzalah will be using the vehicles to save lives.
The deal is also the debut of shared fleet vehicles in the field of emergency services. City Transformer will also provide a dedicated model equipped as a first-aid vehicle to volunteers selected by the organization, United Hatzalah said in the announcement.
Vehicles will be strategically positioned at various points in several cities. Upon receiving a notification of an emergency, any of the organization’s 6,000 volunteers will be able to rush to the nearest vehicle and drive to the incident. Volunteers will be able to identify the vehicle and open it using an app. The emergency address will be pre-entered into the vehicle navigation software by the United Hatzalah dispatch center.
United Hatzalah volunteers respond to about 2,000 calls a day across Israel, the organization says.
The article was originally published by NoCamels, a leading news website covering breakthrough innovation from Israel for a global audience.