Toyota vehicle converted to ambulance with ‘airborne droplet circulation system’

Toyota has been helping out in various ways in the global fight against Covid-19 pandemic – from developing face masks to coming up with restart manuals for the auto industry. Now, the company in Japan has transformed one of its vehicles into an ambulance with modified features to safely transport Covid-19 patients from one location to another.

(Related read: Here’s how Hector SUV retrofitted as an ambulance aims to help fight Covid-19)

The Toyota Hiace-based vehicle features a special system called ‘airborne droplet circulation control’ which helps to expel possibly contaminated air from within the cabin. The cabin itself has been divided into two sections – the interior barrier makes for a front section for the driver and front passenger while the rearward compartment has the rear passenger seat area coupled with an exhaust fan which throws out air from the vehicle. This prevents the possibly contaminated air in the rear section from circulating to the forward compartment.

Toyota Hiace is a light commercial vehicle sold primarily in Japan.
Toyota Hiace is a light commercial vehicle sold primarily in Japan.

Hiace is a light commercial vehicle which is mostly used for goods transportation but Toyota has said it took suggestions from the medical sector before choosing the vehicle and converting it to help transport patients. “The transport vehicle for seriously ill Covid-19 patients provided today joins 11 transport vehicles for mildly infected patients already provided by the Toyota Group to such entities as medical facilities and local governments,” an official release on Thursday informed.

The modified Hiace, developed by Toyota Auto Body Co., Ltd, has been donated to Showa University Hospital in Japan. A number of its other vehicles, some undergoing modifications, have been pressed into medical service across Japan.

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