Japanese company Tajima Motor Corporation just announced the release of their new Floating Tsunami Shelter SAFE+, which was designed for those awaiting rescue in the event of a tsunami. These tiny modern-day Noah’s Arks have full 180-degree self-righting capability and can fit up to 20 people. In addition to tsunami-related emergencies, the floating pods can be used for a variety of purposes - they can even serve as floating karaoke booths!
SAFE+ weights only 1,300 kg (2,866 lbs) and is 6.2 m long, 2.3 m wide and 2.3 m high (20.2 x 7.6 x 7.56 ft). These spacious shelters are roughly the size of a large SUV and come in two models with capacity for 10 and 20 people. Equipped with safety belts, protective seating and a spot for a wheelchair bound person, the pod is meant to stay afloat while waiting for rescue teams. It is accessed either through the main door positioned above the waterline, or through a roof mounted hatch.
The structure is easily transportable and occupies a single car parking space. The basic model can be purchased for $44,000, and the price can go up to $48,000, depending on the amount of additional equipment. It can be outfitted with photovoltaics, child seats, beds and an external generator.
Tajima Motor Corporation plans to manufacture 1,000 units by the end of 2014, with more to come next year. According to the company’s press release, the design will soon become open source, which would enable smaller companies to create their own versions.