Here in the United States, when you imagine a taxi, you probably think about a yellow four-door sedan. In Japan, the image is pretty similar; however, the taxis there will be getting a significant update with what Toyota is calling the “taxi of the future.”
The new taxis seem to be a hybrid between a sedan and a minivan. They will come with a high roof, low floor, and sliding doors. With these features, there will be enough room for a wheelchair, making the new design ideal for elderly passengers and families with small children.
Toyota hopes to put its new taxi on the road in Japan sometime next year with the help of the Japan Federation of Hire-Taxi Associations. Toyota cars have been used as taxis since 1936 when the first model AA sedans rolled off the factory floor.
With this new taxi, Toyota hopes to improve the overall taxi experience and industry. It said it hopes to work with taxi drivers to “collaborate on experimental business approaches that make use of automated-driving technology.”
Toyota says that with some automated technology in a taxi, it would open up more opportunities for people who currently cannot be taxi drivers, such as those with disabilities or younger inexperienced drivers