Taxi 07/Designing the Taxi
Design Trust for Public Space, New York


  • Industrial Design

In 2005 the Design Trust for Public Space organized a workshop with NYC-based architects, designers, cab drivers, operators and the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. The workshop culminated in an exhibition presenting ideas on improving the New York taxi. Our contribution was the concept of "Taxi as Interface." We identified the main interaction points between a user and a cab and proposed designs for improvement, which are feasible and could be retro-fitted onto current cabs. The ideas became part of a recommendation package for the TLC.

The recommendations were a roof top sign, to make finding and hailing a cab more clear; automated sliding doors, to make getting in and out of a cab safer and easier; passenger control panel, to neatly organize all passenger information and a rear safety display, to alert oncoming traffic about exiting/entering passengers.

For New York Taxi's 2007 Centennial celebration, the Design Trust asked us to further develop and prototype one of our ideas from the workshop for inclusion in a NYC Taxi show car presented at the 2007 NY Auto Show. We developed a new roof light which features improved messaging by clearly spelling out status of taxi with a more visible dynamic LED display. It also incorporates the concept of "Ride Sharing", indicating ride share availability and destination direction. Ride sharing helps relieve traffic congestion and is better for the environment.