• May 31st 2010 at 4:54PM
  • 20
A couple of years have passed now since the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced its search for a vehicle that would replace the taxis of New York City with something that better fits the times. The TLC created a website for creative types to submit ideas for the "Taxi of Tomorrow," and one of the more interesting proposals to come in over the last couple of years is something called the UniCab.

The groundwork for NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow is quite simple:
  • Meets highest safety standards
  • Superior passenger experience
  • Superior driver comfort and amenities
  • Appropriate purchase price and ongoing maintenance and repair costs
  • Smaller environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel economy)
  • Smaller physical footprint (with more usable interior room)
  • Compliance with appropriate Americans with Disabilities Act requirements
  • Iconic design that will identify the new taxi with New York City
Born out of those guidelines, the UniCab looks nothing like a traditional taxi, aside from the yellow color. The UniCab features seating for four passengers, an automated ramp for those with disabilities, an infotainment center that displays intended routes and attractions along the way and outward sight lines that allow all of the passengers to get a great view of the glorious city of New York. Though nothing more than a design sketch right now, the UniCab could change our perception of taxis in the future and make hailing a cab the hip, green thing to do. Hat tip to Zelda!

[Source: The Taxi of Tomorrow]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 5 Years Ago
      The most important is how you get the taxi!!!!

      Try http://ticktocktaxi.co.uk
      • 5 Years Ago
      This is quite a silly concept, but I like what NY is doing. If they get rid of those huge saloon taxi's, traffic jams will automatically get shorter.
      • 5 Years Ago
      The cab they're after's already been prototyped and built.


      It looks like a mix of Honda Element and land rover. 'Don't like the idea of EVERY taxi having the wheelchair equipment as that's a waste of money and adds fuel-hungry weight to all the vehicles. Just circulate enough wheelchair capable taxis to cover the bases and keep the rest light.
        • 5 Years Ago

        RoadRage, I knew somebody would bring up the London Taxi. How about something that actually looks cool like a modern version of this baby: http://www.lti.co.uk/previous-models/ ? Heck, they can put the schnoz from this onto the car I mentioned above. Of course, there would be a serious aftermarket for these things when they went out of service because they'd surely be hot rodded LOL!!!

      • 5 Years Ago
      Its the taxi from the Judge Dredd Movies, built by Land Rover on an old FC101 chassis

      • 5 Years Ago
      they should make it autonomous so we don't have to deal with the savages anymore
      • 5 Years Ago
      never work. the wheels are unprotected. as much as outboard wheels improve handling, for NYC and Cabbies, those would be wrecked in a month. and replacing a wheel or axle isnt cosmetic, that's functional repair. too many dollars.
        • 5 Years Ago
        The wheel is hardly more exposed than a wheel in a regular car...I'm not sure what you think the wheel needs to be protected from....
      • 5 Years Ago
      I think the Ford Transit Connect will make a fine taxi. What ever happened to the taxi concept introduced a few years ago?
        • 5 Years Ago
        I believe they are rolling out the transit connect cabs in boston shortly... I'll keep my eyes peeled
      Taxi Airport Link
      • 3 Years Ago
      With all the respect it is absolutely ludicrous idea/design. Future isn't about futuristic shape or look. It's about efficiency in design and eficiency in serving the purpose of a product. From all vehicles we tried at http://www.airport-link.com through the years only few passed the test of hard taxi cab life.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Actually it is not cost effective for cab companys. The usual mode for a cab is a retired police car which was purchased at auction by companies that refurbish them and paint them to be cabs. It works on the fleet principal, where large numbers of cars are available for very low cost. This is a cheap method to obtain cab cars at a very low inital investment. Add to that the fact that a bounty of parts from engines to headlights can be had from "stock" at the re-hab yard. If municipalities dictate new vehicles for cab use in their cities, fare prices will be much higher, and the independent will be out of business. This is a perfect example of people getting involved in an area where they have no business insight.
      • 5 Years Ago
      I agree that the era of the one-size-fits-all police car/taxi is coming at an end, but this is just feckin' stupid. A minivan would do 90% of that things job at 20% the cost. That's what a lot of taxi services use here nowadays and they work fine.

      Minivans would also work great as a combination city police patrol car and paddy wagon. They look innofensive and "nice" so it's good PR, they're good on gas so it helps the environment and saves the city money, and there's tons of room inside.
      • 5 Years Ago
      It seems like about once a year we see some new concept for a NYC cab of the future, and then another year goes by with them using Crown Vics and a few odd minivans and other jalopies.

      I just spent 2 weeks in the UK, and I've got to say that the London Taxis are pretty damn fine taxis. They're made just for that purpose, and meet pretty much all of the criteria in the article. I don't get why they can't buy these with the steering wheel on the other side and use them in the US? Doesn't that make some sense? We could even manufacture them in the US under contract to the UK firm and save import taxes.

      But doing the same space-age crap every year is just stupid.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Looks like a car from Total Recall
        • 5 Years Ago
        hahaha! that is instantly what I thought!
        • 5 Years Ago
        LOL, I just came to post this.
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