Well, it’s official: this is the future. It must be, as the Nissan NV200-based “Taxi of Tomorrow” is now being manufactured. The vehicle marks the culmination of a project run by the Taxi and Limousine Commission of New York City, in which taxi drivers, owners and passengers were asked to submit ideas for what features should go into a purpose-built NYC taxi cab.
The vehicle is being built at the Nissan assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico, where the stock NV200 is also assembled. As outlined by the automaker, some of the things that make the Taxi of Tomorrow special – along with its yellow-and-black checkerboard paint job – include:
- Room for four passengers and their luggage
- Transparent roof panel
- Independently controlled rear air conditioning
- Active carbon-lined headliner to help neutralize interior odors, along with antimicrobial easy-to-clean seat fabric
- Overhead reading lights for passengers, and floor lighting to help locate belongings
- A mobile charging station for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports
- Flat, "no hump" passenger floor area
- A low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently
- Hearing loop system for the hearing impaired
- Driver and passenger intercom system
- Lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening
Additionally, according to Nissan, it is the “only taxi ever to be safety tested and certified with full taxi partition.”
Some people might be disappointed to learn, however, that the Taxi and Limousine Commission apparently doesn’t think that electric vehicles are the way to go – the Taxi of Tomorrow is powered by a 2.0L four-cylinder engine, albeit one that’s designed to be clean-running and fuel efficient. That being said, in a separate project, six Nissan Leaf EVs are being tried out as NYC taxis.
The Taxi of Tomorrow should be on the streets of New York as of this fall.