Actually this taxi is only equipped with USB ports for charging so the version isn’t relevant. Within 3 or 4 years the entire taxi fleet in New York will have been replaced by new Nissan NV200 commercial vans. Nissan won the Taxi of Tomorrow competition to be supplier of the taxis last year. The first of the new fleet of taxis will be on display tomorrow at the New York Auto Show. However they won’t start to be deployed, replacing current taxi stock, until October 2013.
Previous and current New York yellow cabs
What makes the NV200 the “Taxi of Tomorrow” according to the New York Mayor? Well it’s not quite The Jetsons futuristic, it still has 4 wheels. However it does feature 2 USB power outlets and a 12V charging point, LED lighting, non-stick antimicrobial upholstery, passenger climate control and a sunroof. As for fuel economy, it seems like they will be opting for the 2 litre 25mpg petrol version over the 1.5 litre diesel 53.3mpg version popular in the UK. That is still a consumption improvement over the current standard New York cab, the Ford Crown Victoria, at approximately 12mpg. Nissan states that the NV200 could possibly use a hybrid or electric power source, using their Leaf technology, in the future.
Some people are of the opinion that the default taxi in New York being a van might hurt the image of New York and that could be right, it does seem to lack the cool factor, from the outside. The inside of the NV200 is supposed to be spacious (the mayor says it’s the most roomy taxi ever), comfortable and accessible (sliding door with attachable ramp). Another bonus is that there is an air purity filter to filter out noxious city fumes. It’s also the safest so far with side and front airbags and it has passed federal crash tests kitted out with all the standard fittings.
Overall I’d consider this cab rather underwhelming for a “Taxi of Tomorrow”. They haven’t even committed to a hybrid power train, though they are going to test 6 Nissan Leaf cars as taxis this year. There’s not one mention of entertainment/IT gadgetry (or any karaoke equipment) for the passengers, though I’ve seen what looks like a mock-up of an interior featuring an LCD display on the partition screen. Some kind touch screen “what’s on” and tourist guide to the city would be a great addition.
What would you install in the Taxi of Tomorrow?