Each day, 600,000 New Yorkers hop in the back of a taxi – the iconic yellow cab that is a symbol of New York City around the world. The 2014 Nissan NV200 Taxi, New York's Taxi of Tomorrow, made its global debut yesterday at a special event with New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Nissan President and CEO Carlos Ghosn.

Prior to the press launch a preview and panel discussion about the design evolution of the Taxi was presented by Cooper-Hewitt, Design Trust for Public Space, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission and Nissan. The panel was moderated by Phil Patton of the New York Times and panelists included Cooper-Hewitt's chairman Paul Herzan, who was instrumental in instigating the search for a new taxi, as well as David Yassky, New York City Taxi & Limousine Commissioner; Davin Stowell, Smart Design; and Francois Farion, Nissan Design America. The discussion focused on the importance that the taxi plays in every New Yorker’s life, and how this unique automobile is considered the city’s personal car. The design of the new taxi was developed from the inside out, putting the user, passengers and drivers, and their needs, ahead of any sort of exterior aesthetic. After a rigorous, two-year competitive bid selection process, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission selected the Nissan NV200 Taxi in May 2011 as the exclusive taxi of New York City beginning in late 2013. Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum, the Design Trust for Public Space and Smart Design also engaged with Nissan and the TLC in the vehicle's design.

NYC taxi drivers have an average of 46 fares a day, so the Taxi of Tomorrow needs to stand up to the demands of its environment. Nissan created a New York City "street," complete with potholes, at their Arizona testing facility to recreate the harsh conditions the the new taxi would encounter. With the Taxi of Tomorrow, every taxi driver and passenger will enjoy superior safety, increased comfort and amenities, and improved durability – a tremendous improvement to today’s transportation in the city. Key new features include:

  • a legible roof light for clear communication
  • flat floor for ease of entry and exit
  • lights to indicate passenger exits for oncoming cyclists
  • sliding passenger doors will not interfere with other traffic or street activity
  • clear, panoramic sunroof
  • greener interior materials

The Taxi of Tomorrow is headed to the 2012 New York International Auto Show, where it will be on display for New Yorkers and visitors from around the world. The auto show at the Jacob Javits Center is open to the public April 6-15. Links: Design Trust for Public Space – http://www.designtrust.org/ New York Taxi and Limousine Commission – http://www.nyc.gov/html/media/html/news/taxioftomorrow.shtml Nissan – http://www.taxioftomorrow.com/web/index.php 2012 New York International Auto Show – http://www.autoshowny.com/

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