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Advanced Taxi for London – Taxi design

This project, led by Harrow for a major automotive manufacturer, Karsan of Turkey, is to develop an advanced design for a new London taxi. Key issues are inclusive mobility (meeting lifelong requirements), fit with conceptions of ‘taxiness’ and conformance to imperatives from TfL and other agencies.

A key output is a confidential report (not therefore available from this repository) to the manufacturer on the early phases of the research. After an outline feasibility study, the company commissioned Harrow and his team to present a series of five work packages. Designs and models of the new taxi have been built.

The research builds on Harrow’s 1999 work for the current London taxi, the first for the mobility-impaired. Harrow also developed the approach through other projects, including the redesign of the Emergency Ambulance, which is unique in the automotive design field for using vertically and horizontally integrated work-packages. These include user research and testing; concept generation through individual response, group work and structured workshops; developing proposals through CAD design; and evaluation using advanced automotive design tools and full-scale computer simulation. This involved feedback and evaluation through experience prototyping, scale and full-size modelling with stakeholder groups, including users, manufacturers, commissioners and city planners.

The design is unique in not being a conversion of an existing car or van. The concept is being further developed in 2014 using a ‘soft platform’ approach that will allow prompt and efficient adoption of the most sustainable power pack (natural gas, hybrid, full electric, etc.), rapidly adaptable to changing technologies.