Autokaross in Floby builds custom rescue vehicles equipped with the latest technology. Martinsson, together with our graphic partner Republic has developed a modern control panel with touch screen technology to control the functions of the fire engine, such as the pump motor, water, extra lights, etc..
Previously this was managed by a keypad with physical buttons at the back of the vehicle. With a modern touch screen-based solution new opportunities to simplify processes and provide a better overview of stressful situations opened. This also gave Autokaross opportunity to offer new additional services, such as support for Help features, diagnosis of current data and so on.
A first step in the project was to categorize the menu choices to make it a so-called event-based system. This meant that the first choice the fireman do is to choose the mission type, such as if there is a rescue or fire mission. After this, only the functions you need access to at the current assignment is visible. This provides a faster, clearer and more intuitive user interface, which is highly appreciated in a work situation where every second can be critical. It was also very important for the customer to keep the interface particularly clear and understated as it is a tool which will be in the smoke and dust and often navigated with gloves.
An early idea was to always display critical information in one place regardless of task characteristics, in this case, the pump pressure before and after the pump, the number of gallons of water in the tank, the amount of foam fluid, etc.. In the case of warnings of various kinds we were to get inspiration from an aircraft cockpit where the system of multiple warnings make an automatic choice where less critical information is suppressed in order to minimize stress and highlight the most important issue for the moment.
The system has been well received in the market and our hope is that it will facilitate the daily life of firefighters and also that Autokaross continues to lead the development of a successful outcome in which all of society benefits from a safe and effective rescue.