This document has been edited for clarity since first publication
Chris Burrell, founder and director of UniCo Design Co (UniCo) along with the team for the UniCab TAXI OF TOMORROW design, has beaten all odds and is one of small number of submissions competing in the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission’s quest to find the “The Taxi of Tomorrow”.
The project is a unique opportunity to explore upgrades to the existing NYC taxi fleet by learning about possibilities for a more appropriate vehicle that reflects the needs of its diverse stakeholders – passengers, drivers, owners and NYC residents. The RFI seeks to gauge the various options available to bring a new model medallion yellow taxicab to New York City in the near future.
Among the requirements envisioned for the new model taxicab are:
- meets highest safety standards
- superior passenger experience
- superior driver comfort and amenities
- appropriate purchase price and on-going maintenance and repair costs
- smaller environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel economy)
- smaller physical footprint (with more useable interior room)
- universal accessibility for all users with a goal of meeting ADA guidelines, (wheelchair accessible), and
- iconic design that will identify the new taxi with New York City
Up until now, Chris Burrell has led a small dedicated team of vehicle designers engineers, ergonomic transport specialists, economists, access consultants and concerned citizens (most of them with one form or another of a disability) to get to this point on the world stage
The submission, in part, highlighted the following points:
1. We can partner with a strong American auto OEM to build, deliver on time at an affordable price to the required standards.
2. It will be substantially built in the USA.
3. Our design is innovative and makes a break from the past and will evolve to take advantage of new technology now available.
4. The design has evolved over the past 10 years driven by a passion & extensive stakeholder consultation to produce a universal purpose designed taxi vehicle.
5. The name UNiCAB says it all.
6. We will be able to meet the the phase-in rate of 200 vehicles per month.
7. We will meet the Oct 2013 first delivery date.
8. We will partner with the TLC as requested in the RFP and propose a participative / collaborative ownership.
9. More New Yorkers will want to ride in the UNiCAB and raise the morale of taxi drivers and patrons.
10. Therein exists the possibility of transforming the whole industry and the publics perception to multi-ride.
11. We have the capability to raise the funds to complete the project.
The eyes of the world will be focusing on the outcome..