8th March 2010
Allied Vehicles has created a further advance in accessible vehicles with the launch of its new, FlexiFold™ wheelchair ramp.
Built-in as an integral part of the company’s newest lowered-floor, wheelchair accessible cars and MPVs, the new ramp offers important advantages for wheelchair passengers and other users of the vehicles.
First and foremost, the ramp delivers an easy gradient, so there is no need to attach a winch and getting in and out of the vehicle is smooth and painless. Although shallower, the clever vehicle design means the ramp is also shorter – meaning less space is required between vehicles when parking to pick-up or set-down a wheelchair passenger.
Another unique new feature is the ability to fold the ramp away into the vehicle floor when the wheelchair stance is not in use. As a result, the all-round flexibility of the disability vehicle is greatly enhanced. Instead of having a ramp standing up at the back of the vehicle, over a sloping floor, the FlexiFold™ creates a large, unhindered space for shopping, luggage or whatever other needs life may bring its way.
Wheelchair User Research
Allied’s research among its wide customer base showed that many WAVs (wheelchair accessible vehicles) serve as the family car, for a variety of uses, as well as being a special-propose accessible transport solution. As a result, engineers set out to create a disability car that was as close as a possible to a normal vehicle when not in use with a wheelchair passenger.
“It’s all about getting the most we can out of the vehicle for the various tasks it performs,” explains Allied Vehicles managing director Paul Nelson.
“As a company we have a strong commitment to listening to customer feedback and undertaking continuous product improvement,” he continues. “Our development engineers are always kept busy working on new ideas and design enhancements. Often it’s a minor but important change that improves one small part of the build process but there are also those step-change moments when we’re able to come up with a genuinely unique new feature.
“The FlexiFold™ wheelchair ramp is certainly in the latter category and looks set to offer genuine advantages to wheelchair users and their families, carers and drivers.