Alternate Design Ideas for New York’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’

As we reported back in 2007, when Smart Design helped redesign New York’s taxi branding, that period also mark the launch of the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow project, which was on the hunt for a more efficient, safer and comfortable cab. Just over a year ago, the project unveiled its three finalists, developed by Karsan, Nissan and Ford. Writer and new GOOD editor Allison Arieff doesn’t have terribly high hopes that whoever wins the commission to build these thousands of redesigned cars for hire, and filed this great report for the NY Times entitled “All Tomorrow’s Taxis,” discussing the competition but also what really needs to be fixed with these ubiquitous people movers. Alongside her piece, she and the paper asked designer/illustrator Steven M. Johnson to come up with and sketch out his own ideas. They run the gamut from absurd (like the Taxi Hotel and the “Pay What You Can Afford” model) to those slightly more practical, like giving cabs wrap-around bumpers outside the entire car. Like Arieff, we’re not expecting a total, heart-warming transformation in the city’s fleet, no matter which of the three gets picked, but it’s nice to dream, isn’t it?