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New cabs hitting the streets of New York City in 2013 will have more legroom, a large skylight roof to gaze at the city skyscrapers and even odour-reducing and anti-microbial fabric to help deal with, well, you know, anything you might smell in the backseat of a cab.
A prototype of the Nissan NV200 will be unveiled on Tuesday. The model was selected from among three finalists in a city competition.
With a boxy shape and painted a brighter yellow than the city's current taxis, the cab offers a different experience for passengers - starting with a flat, hump-less floor that makes shifting from one side to the other a simple task.
City taxi and limousine commissioner David Yassky said busy New Yorkers looking to get from point A to point B would find plenty to appreciate about the rides that get them there.
“New Yorkers are pragmatic but they also appreciate quality. This is a higher-quality taxi ride than what they're getting today,” he said.
NO MORE GETTING LOST
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 on the floor, as well as overhead lights for reading. Luggage can go into the cargo space in the rear.
The Nissan van, which beat proposals from Ford and Turkey's Karsan, will be phased in beginning in October 2013 as older taxis age out of service. All current taxis, including the city's hybrid cabs, will be off the streets by 2018. Nissan spokesman Steven Oldham said the company would also be undertaking a pilot programme with the Nissan Leaf electric car to see if it would be feasible to make the taxis electric in the coming years.
The vehicles will sell for about $29 000 (R220 000). Sapa-AP