Two of the industry’s top specialists in wheelchair-accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts are merging operations to create what they claim is a “transformative mobility venture”.
BraunAbility, which has been operating for nearly 50 years, has acquired a controlling interest in Q’Straint, a mobility company with subsidiaries throughout the world. The deal includes its mobility business in the UK.
BraunAbility is a leading manufacturer of wheelchair-accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts, while Q’Straint has three decades of experience in wheelchair passenger safety inside the vehicle, providing wheelchair and occupant securement solutions.
BraunAbility’s UK operations are based in Somerset, while Q’Straint is located in Whitstable.
Their partnership will see greater integration of the design process, which they claim will set the stage for systems-based solutions.
Patrick Girardin, co-president of Q’Straint, said this vertically integrated approach to design holds significant potential for enhanced safety, quality, and reliability for the disability community.
“Wheelchair passengers face such a segmented experience when they travel. We see huge opportunities for integrating technologies and creating a new story, rewritten for inclusion. Together, we help ensure that new products create a more intuitive and effortless experience for our customers.”
Major original equipment manufacturer automotive and consumer technology players have announced hundreds of billions of dollars in future investment in electric and autonomous vehicles.
BraunAbility said it was teaming up with Q’Straint to ensure these rapidly advancing technologies include solutions for the disability community.
“The shift to these new technologies has the potential to change a remarkable number of lives if they are designed for inclusion,” said Staci Kroon, global president and CEO of BraunAbility. “To keep pace with this historic change, our industry must combine research and development investments and other resources, so wheelchair users are included in the future of mobility.”
The combined effort will prioritise consumer innovation while maintaining the same industry-leading levels of technology, support and service for their dealer and commercial partners.
One such breakthrough is Quantum, a system that offers wheelchair passengers of public transit buses complete independence by allowing them to secure themselves without assistance from the bus operator.
This timesaving, contactless technology allows the wheelchair passenger to board quickly and safely while the driver focuses on operating on schedule.
BraunAbility and Q’Straint offer mobility products in more than 70 countries with substantial operations in the US, Uk, and mainland Europe.