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Design Fest: Taxis of the Future
Julia Levitt, 23 Jul 09

taxis%20of%20the%20future.jpgTaxi services provide a terrific benefit to urban dwellers as a supplement to mostly car-free lifestyles, a safe ride home after a few drinks, etc. But even with hybrid cab fleets hitting the roads in a growing number of cities, the design of most cabs falls pretty sadly short in terms of efficiency and intelligence. Bulky five-passenger vehicles are generally used to transport the driver and a solo fare. Not only is this a waste of energy, but the large vehicles also exacerbate congestion and make it tougher for drivers, who must purchase their own fuel, to make a good profit.

A few weeks ago, designboom featured a really fun collection of taxi concepts from automakers and designers in markets around the world. There are two-person models, social interaction-oriented group cabs, and even a water taxi. Though the actual practicality of many of these is questionable, the series is a great kickstarter for imagining ways to fit taxi service into a more efficient and enjoyable package. I think my favorite details are those that reflect the culture and habits of specific cities or regions.

What kind of cab would work best in your city? Please share!

Image source: designboom

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These all look like teapots. What is it with electric guitar designers and teapot cars? I don't get it. They're obsessed. It's not healthy. It can't be.

What the world needs now is an open-source Aptera that can be made out of off-the-shelf bike (or motorbike) parts, and bamboo... similar in cost etc to a Thai tuk tuk, but with proper de-coupling of engine/storage/chasis/body and any other tech thing prone to innovation and improvement that can be de-coupled.

Something that looks really cool, and is built with a) privacy and b) upgradeability/customizeability/local-sourcing of components in mind.

So that's my 2c etc. I'd buy one and I'm not even a taxi driver.

Posted by: Nick Taylor on 23 Jul 09

Small dirigibles
(and yes, I've heard about the chap who trialled this for the Darwin Awards!)

Posted by: Tony Fisk on 23 Jul 09

We need a variety of taxis for different situations.

The small one person devices are efficient for getting a person around. But sometimes you need one that can carry a load like truck for getting big stuff back from store.

We need easy options to help people get back from the furniture store or the hardware store?

A full taxi service would be a mix of
2 passenger, 4 passenger, 10 passenger and 2 passengers + big stuff.

So the solution is a whole fleet with the ability to carry different loads.

Posted by: Richard Griffith on 26 Jul 09

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