Advanced Taxi for London
Funded by Karsan Otomotiv
Principal Investigator: Professor Dale Harrow
This project with an international automotive manufacturer is developing an advanced design for a new London taxi. The research builds on Professor Harrow’s 1999 work for the current London taxi, the first to cater for the mobility-impaired.
The approach, jointly with the RCA’s Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design, has been developed through other projects including the redesign of the Emergency Ambulance. Design development includes user research and testing; concept generation through group work and structured workshops; evaluation using advanced automotive design tools and full-scale digital simulation; 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 using a ‘soft platform’ approach that will allow prompt and efficient adoption of the most sustainable power pack (natural gas, hybrid, full electric, etc.) adapting rapidly to changing technologies. The industrial partner’s Advanced Taxi was originally created in response to New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow tender and has been in continuous development with the RCA since 2013. The innovations embodied in the taxi can be generalised to many other kinds of vehicle, with a particular emphasis on inclusive design – accessibility for all – and sustainability of production and use.
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