SOURCE: Smart Design

April 03, 2007 11:29 ET

Smart Design Reinvents an Icon: The New York City Taxi Cab

As an Integral Part of the Taxi 07 Project, Smart Design Will Reveal an Innovative Makeover of the Beloved New York Taxi at New York International Auto Show, April 6-15, 2007

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- April 3, 2007 -- Smart Design led a consortium of NYC-based design firms to reinvent the iconic yellow cab in time for the world-renowned International Auto Show held at Jacob Javits Center. The designers sought to increase the comfort, accessibility, and efficiency of the overall taxi experience for The Design Trust for Public Space's Taxi 07 project, celebrating the New York City taxi's centennial. The design team, led by Smart Design and including Antenna Design and Birsel + Seck, prototyped two concepts that will be shown on the new affordable 2007 Kia Rondo.

Drawing on Smart Design's 25 years' expertise in branded consumer experiences, work on the Taxi 07 prototypes feature many user-friendly elements and a new identity that will truly transform the look and experience of a NYC taxi ride.

According to Davin Stowell, CEO of Smart Design, "The taxi can definitely be safer, cleaner and more comfortable. It can be easier to get in and out of, easier to understand, and easier to pay for. And it can facilitate better communications between driver and passenger. In short, a new taxi can provide a transportation experience for NYC that we are proud of and a workplace for drivers that is respectful of the great service they provide."

Smart's design team approached the work with three main enhancements that were developed based on extensive research and user testing: Safety, Social Interaction and Sustainability. The result is fully functional model cars that can serve as inspiration for taxi design that can be immediately implemented by automakers and taxi outfitters.

Key features include: revised interior seating plan allowing better social experience for both driver and passengers; integrated child booster seat, all-access elevator seat; improved lighting, mirrors and seatbelts; eco-friendly improvements such as better mileage, integrated ozone scrubber and non-vinyl upholstery.

The Smart Design prototype taxis will premier at the public Taxi 07 Exhibit at the New York International Auto Show, running concurrently with New York City Taxi Week -- April 6th-15th -- at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Enter via stairs at 11th Ave. and 35th Street or through South Concourse.

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