Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Nissan to Partner With Braun Corp. To Develop Accessible Taxi

Nissan has recently been chosen by the city of New York as the producer of their "Taxi of Tomorrow" and is destined to serve as the primary taxi vehicle for New York cab fleets. Nissan's NV200, has many features that are sure to please the majority of cab drivers and passengers:  more room, more lighting, a panoramic roof, airbags front and rear, climate control for the passengers, USB charging ports, and odor-absorbing seats and headliner. Despite all these advances, one of the criticisms of this new taxi has been the lack of any concessions to accessibility for wheelchair users:  one of the contenders for the "Taxi of Tomorrow" was designed from the outset to be a rear-entry vehicle but was passed over for the Nissan.  More info after the jump.

Nissan has recently released a press statement debuting the production version of the NV200 taxi and has stated that they have, "partnered with the Braun Corp., the world leader in automotive mobility products, to develop, engineer and produce a creative solution for a wheelchair-accessible taxi in New York. Drawing on Braun's innovation and experience in the mobility industry, Nissan will offer a mobility solution to New York taxi medallion holders when the taxis go on sale in 2013."

Based on the specifications of this vehicle, it appears that Braun may attempt to adapt the NV200 to be a rear-entry taxi.  This taxi is slightly smaller than the typical minivan so a side-entry ramp is unlikely.  Look for this taxi to be running in the streets of New York within the next couple of years with the possibility of showing up nationally soon after that.

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