The taxicab has finally entered the modern era -- at least it will in New York City next year when the taxi-version of the Nissan NV200 car arrives in droves.
The new cabs are boxy minivans and will be painted brighter yellow than the current taxis.
They feature sliding rear doors, which ease entry and exit for passengers and also eliminate doors being opened onto New York City’s many bicycle messengers.
Inside, the NV200 is more upscale than current taxis with antimicrobial fabric and convenience features such as charging ports for cellphones and other electronics.
Riders will find a flat floor to make it easier to slide into the far side of the cab, and plenty of legroom for even the lankiest passengers. A large skylight roof will allow riders to get a view of the city’s skyscrapers, while lights on the floor will help passengers locate any items they’ve accidentally dropped.
Nissan won the Taxi of Tomorrow competition for the city’s business and the NV200 taxis will begin appearing in October 2013 as aging taxis are pulled out of service.
The model will replace all the city's current 13,000 taxis, including the hybrid cars, by 2018. Nissan will have a contract to supply the city's taxis for 10 years.
Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.