Remember that competition over what the “Taxi of Tomorrow” would be? There is a winner, and it is Nissan, based on their NV200 minivan design. Mayor Bloomberg will announce the news today. The Nissan won, reports the Daily News, because it got the best scores in interior legroom and durability. Other finalists were Ford and Karsan, a Turkish carmaker.
This means, if things go as expected, we will be riding around in Nissans eventually — the carmaker is supposed to get a 10-year contract for the “exclusive right to make and sell yellow cabs to city hacks and fleet owners” — but in no time particularly soon.
“Once the TOT (Taxi of Tomorrow) model is selected, TLC must necessarily engage in a lengthy contracting process before the TOT vehicle is in the market,” Assistant Corporation Council Robin Binder wrote to the federal government last month. “Thus, the TOT vehicle is a long way from actually appearing on the streets of the city.”
According to a statement from (losing finalist) Karsan’s Executive Director Jan Nahum:
“While we are disappointed that we were not selected, we are extremely proud of what we have accomplished in the Taxi of Tomorrow competition. Karsan’s dedicated team of engineers and designers raised the bar in terms of what we all deserve and should expect out of our taxis. The City, in its RFP, called for an iconic, purpose-built taxi that would be accessible and sustainable, and that is exactly what Karsan delivered. So it is no surprise that New Yorkers hailed the Karsan design as the best in class. The disability community lauded us for our sensitive and inclusive approach. And elected officials and labor leaders praised us for our commitment to create up to 800 new jobs along the Brooklyn waterfront.
“We fervently believe that there is a strong market and an acute need for a true Taxi of Tomorrow, and we look forward to working with other forward-looking cities around the globe to make the Karsan vision a reality.”
Read more about your new Nissan here.