The Taxi of Tomorrow
The Ford Crown Victoria (pictured here) has long been the most widely used vehicle in New York City's taxi fleet. But Ford is retiring the Crown Vic next year, and that means NYC needs to find a replacement. Enter the Taxi of Tomorrow competition, a project created by city officials to find the next major taxi model. So far, the city has narrowed the competition down to three finalists. The winner, which will be picked next year, will have an exclusive contract to provide the city with taxi cabs.
Karsan Taxi
One option is the glass-roofed Karsan V1, the only design not based on a pre-existing vehicle. Created by Turkish manufacturer Karsan (the company builds vehicles for Fiat and Hyundai), the V1 is also the only car in the running that is completely wheelchair accessible (it has a wheelchair ramp).
Ford Transit Connect
The Ford Transit Connect is a custom-built commercial version of the vehicle, which is on sale in Europe. The vehicle is, however, the only American-built contender in NYC's competition. Ford recently announced that it is working on an electric version of the Transit Connect--a development that could pave the way for electric cabs.
Nissan NV200 Van
Nissan's design will probably win points with the fare-paying public: It has the most legroom of any of the options. It also offers a sliding cargo pod that deploys using hydraulic rams. And like the Ford Transit Connect, the Nissan NV200 may soon be available as an electric vehicle.
The Coco Taxi
New York City may have its sights firmly set on the Ford, Karsan, and Nissan models shown previously, but we've rounded up a few other suggestions for good measure. Perhaps NYC might consider the coco taxi, a three-wheeled, egg-shaped fiber glass vehicle that can be found scurrying around Cuba. The taxis feature noisy 75cc two-stroke petrol engines--but surely NYC could tweak the engines to be quieter and more efficient.
Maybach Taxi
If New York City's cab proposals are a bit too pedestrian for your tastes, check out this Moscow variety. The luxury Maybach 62 taxi will take you to your destination in style.
Yellow Air Taxi
Sometimes driving is just too slow. Enter the Yellow Air Taxi, an air taxi airline based in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. The fleet consists of just one aircraft--the Cessna 402C. It's expensive (one-way fares start at $99), but avoiding traffic may be worth the money.
Mx-Libris Taxi Concept
This concept cab, created by industrial designer Alberto Villareal, is a zero-emissions vehicle intended for the smoggy streets of Latin America. The fuel cell-powered vehicle features drive-by-wire technology (electronics replace mechanical elements and functions in the vehicle) as well as low-voltage lighting technologies like electroluminescent and flexible LED strips. No word yet on whether the cab will be produced.

The Future of the NYC Taxi

So long, Crown Vic. These are the taxis of tomorrow.

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