Yesterday, at the New York International Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the NYC “Taxi of the Future.” And the vehicle — most notable for the fact that it’s not a car, in the old Crown Victoriamodel, but a minivan — sounds approximately 1,000 times more user-friendly than the current NYC cab. For example:
The doors on the vehicles slide open, so no more risk of hitting a passing bicycle messenger, and they’ll all come with a navigation system, so no more getting lost in the outer boroughs. There are floor lights, to help find anything that may have fallen to the floor, as well as overhead lights for reading. Luggage can go into the cargo space in the rear.
The cabs will also feature a “low-annoyance horn,” more leg room, a skylight, and — in a move that may bring a well-deserved death blow to the strawberry-scented air freshener — odor-reducing fabric.
One of the most exciting selling points, though? The cabs will feature charging stations for riders’ electronics, including one 12-volt outlet and a pair of USB ports.
Which: AWESOME. This is great news for taxi riders — what better time to charge a juiceless phone or tablet, after all, than when you’re stuck in cab? — and it’s good news for the overall movement toward the ubiquitization of charging stations. But it also makes you wonder: How much power, actually, might one expect to get from the Taxi of the Future? Cab rides are short; charge times are long. Are the taxi-bound stations really the Amazing Life-Changers that they seem to be?
Read more. [Image: Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg]
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