Nissan's 'Taxi of Tomorrow' prototype to be unveiled today
A prototype of the "Taxi of Tomorrow" is getting rolled out Tuesday.
Ahead of the New York Auto Show this week, city officials and automaker Nissan will unveil a modernized yellow cab at the Skylight West in midtown.
Nissan won a contest to upgrade the iconic fleet, beating out two other companies to create 13,000 cars during the 10-year contract. Beginning in late 2013, all of the city's cab companies must replace their aging vehicles with the Nissan NV200.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission expects all of the current taxis to be phased out by 2018.
The new cabs, at $29,000 a pop, will feature sliding doors, USB chargers and more legroom. The vehicles will also come with GPS.
"New Yorkers are pragmatic but they also appreciate quality. This is a higher-quality taxi ride than what they're getting today," TLC Commissioner David Yassky told The Associated Press on Monday.
City officials hope to win over New Yorkers with the design, which is boxier than the current yellow cabs and have been compared to suburban minivans.
By 2017, Nissan could develop the cars to run on electric-only power. Other passenger amenities with the new cab include:
•Reading lights and interior floor lightning.
•A flat, "no hump" floor.
•Several air bags, including ones that can work around the partition.