Innovative Taxi with Global Ambitions Is The "Taxi of Tomorrow"

It's a long way from the streets of New York to the factories of Turkey, but this 5,000-mile voyage could soon be made by all of the city's iconic yellow taxis.

A glass-roofed, eco-friendly vehicle intended by Turkish automaker Karsan is among the three finalists in New York City's search for a taxicab for the future.

New York launched the "Taxi of Tomorrow" competition to find a safe, energy proficient and accessible model. The winning design will be the exclusive New York City taxi for at least 10 years, according to city officials.

Karsan's V1 is the only model that was planned from scratch for the contest.
A reflection of the country's growing automotive ambitions, it would be Turkey's first high-profile recognized vehicle if it wins.

So far all the cars Turkey makes are built under license for major manufacturers. Karsan, while not accurately a household name outside its homeland, makes vehicles for Hyundai, Peugeot, Citroen and Renault.

"Having a vehicle designed and built in Turkey being used as a New York taxi would be a very strong branding chance for the Turkish automotive industry," said Jan Nahum, executive director of Karsan.

"It's an incredible source of pride and obsession for us," he said of being named a finalist. "New York is probably the most popular and visible city in the world, and its iconic yellow taxis are seen in almost every picture."

The Karsan V1 would be wheelchair available, spacious enough to hold five passengers and a stroller, and have a glass roof to give passengers a view of New York's skyscrapers.

It could hold a gasoline, compressed natural gas or electric engine, depending on which knowledge is the greenest at any time.

The winner of the "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest will be the first ever custom-built New York taxi. There are 16 different vehicles from nine manufacturers in the present fleet of 13,000 licensed taxicabs.
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