Being one of the authors of the Taxi:Roads Forward book has its privileges! We were invited to preview the features of the Nissan’s Taxi of Tomorrow before it opens to the public on Nov 2nd at 23rd street in New York.
The Yellow Taxi is as much an identity of New York as the Empire State Building. It is a way of life, a mode of transport. It is a public space, a movable space, that forms the backdrop of many private interactions 24/7 in the life of this great city.
The Taxi of Tomorrow attempts to be many things. Nissan’s Francois Farion, Senior Manager, Design & Color Strategy, very enthusiastically explained Nissan’s vision for this new avatar. Consulting heavily with the Taxi and Limousine Commission and deriving from the research and benchmarking done by our “Taxi Book“, the Taxi of Tomorrow attempts to be many things that the present cab is not.
- Higher roof and much more leg room;
- Special design of the wheel to take the number of miles that these vehicles travels;
- An integrated console that has the HVAC built into it and includes a 15″ monitor in place of the small screen you see now;
- Seats made of fabric engineered to have no VOC;
- Active carbon to make the cabin smell and feel fresher;
- Factory installed bullet proof partition which can slide, to speak with the driver and designed to provide maximum views of NYC;
- Curtain air bags ( in order to be effective, you must be strapped in though);
- High boot to accomodate maximum storage;
- And our favorite: A polycarbonate roof to make the Taxi lighter, and to provide views of the skyline as you drive past!
It is not all good though. This Taxi, as its predecessor, is not ADA compliant, although we are told that it presents itself to customization in order to become so. Plans are to lower the floor to provide wheelchair access into the vehicle. In addition there is little or no provision of a built in child harness/car seat. Considering how many urban families use Taxis as their main form of transport–that is an area where this Taxi of Tomorrow could have really made a difference.
Still, it tries and does quite well in most other aspects!
Check out our signature on the graffiti wall at the exhibit.