Here's What a Ride in the 'Taxi of the Future' Will Get You

By Megan Garber

A cab ride to Brooklyn? Keep on with your Instagramming, friend.

Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg

Yesterday, at the New York International Auto Show, Nissan unveiled the NYC "Taxi of the Future." And the vehicle -- most notable for the fact that it's not a car, in the old Crown Victoria model, but a minivan -- sounds approximately 1,000 times more user-friendly than the current NYC cab. For example:

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 to the floor, as well as overhead lights for reading. Luggage can go into the cargo space in the rear.

The cabs will also feature a "low-annoyance horn," more leg room, a skylight, and -- in a move that may bring a well-deserved death blow to the strawberry-scented air freshener -- odor-reducing fabric.

One of the most exciting selling points, though? The cabs will feature charging stations for riders' electronics, including one 12-volt outlet and a pair of USB ports.

Which: AWESOME. This is great news for taxi riders -- what better time to charge a juiceless phone or tablet, after all, than when you're stuck in a cab? -- and it's good news for the overall movement toward the ubiquitization of charging stations. But it also makes you wonder: How much power, actually, might one expect to get from the Taxi of the Future? Cab rides are short; charge times are long. Are the taxi-bound stations really the Amazing Life-Changers that they seem to be? 

Well. Let's assume, just for simplicity's sake, that you have an iPhone 4, and that you use your Taxi of the Future's power outlet, as opposed to its USB port, to charge your phone. Based on this helpful chart of battery-percentage-by-charge-time, here are some daily life improvements that the Taxi of the Future will be able to bring to you: 

taxi2.png

The undeniably scientific conclusion? Life, undeniably, improved. Volt by volt, and mile by strawberry-scent-free mile.   

Unfortunately, though, we (and more specifically, you, you denizens of New York) will have to wait for all the life-improvement. The Taxi of the Future, alas, won't be phased in until October. Of 2013.


Image above via the Internet and the inimitable Kasia Cieplak-Mayr von Baldegg.

This article available online at:

http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/archive/2012/04/heres-what-a-ride-in-the-taxi-of-the-future-will-get-you/255472/