Nissan gets a boost when the citys Taxi of Tomorrow programme gets under way in April. RIP Checker, Crown Vic, Caprice et al...

Nissan gets a boost when the city's Taxi of Tomorrow programme gets under way in April. RIP Checker, Crown Vic, Caprice et al...

New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has set 20 April, 2015, as the start date for the Taxi of Tomorrow programme which calls for most retiring taxis to be replaced with the Nissan NV200 and will significantly increase the number of wheelchair accessible taxis in the fleet.

Nissan North America said its NV200 taxi would be the sole option for Manhattan yellow taxis not being replaced by a hybrid or an alternate wheelchair-accessible vehicle (WAV) where additional choice among competitors is maintained. Nissan is working with Braun to provide taxis which now are available for purchase.

Over 500 of the NV200s already are in service in New York City. Nissan claims their model has "more content specifically tailored to use as a New York City cab than any vehicle prior to it including important safety features".

"The NV200 is the only taxi that leaves the factory with the installed partition, which has been specifically designed to ensure that no safety features are compromised by aftermarket installations. In fact, the [model] was crash-tested with the partition and meets federal safety standards, an attribute no other automaker provides for taxis. After-market installations in some taxis can render safety features such as airbags non-functional," the automaker said.

"The NV200 also meets global pedestrian protection standards aimed at softening the impact to a pedestrian if struck by a vehicle.

The automaker said it created its own 'New York Ave' at its Arizona proving grounds to replicate harsh conditions of NYC streets to rigorously test the taxi to tune the suspension specifically to the city's road conditions. It also hired Big Apple cab drivers to test vehicles around the city, collecting data that was used to refine the vehicle. In total, these drivers logged enough miles to cover every street in Manhattan more than 300 times.

Features include ample cargo room for transporting luggage and USB charging ports in addition to a 12-volt electrical outlet.

Key safety features include front and rear seat occupant curtain airbags specifically designed to deploy around the integrated partition and seat-mounted airbags for the front row, standard traction control and dynamic control, sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly and lights that alert other road users that taxi doors are opening.