Form Follows Function: A New Standard Taxi?

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Ever since the Checker Marathon went the way of the fedora, there's been no real, purpose-built taxicab in the US as there is in the UK. Sure, we've got our Crown Vics and Honda Odysseys, and even one electric PT Cruiser, but not a single one's been designed from the ground up to be naught more than a cab. But wait. What's that body-by Rubbermaid monstrosity coming down the block? Why it's built by Standard Taxi, a Troy, Michigan company whose Taxi prototype exceeds the usability of both the Checker and the classic London taxi. The Standard taxi seats four passengers, is wheelchair accessable and has luggage space the size of a studio apartment. Sure, it looks like it was designed by a team of six-year-olds, but that kind of gives it a purity of form that's both cute and really, really disturbing. [Thanks to Steven for the tip.]

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[via Autoblog]

Related:
Big Yellow EV: NYC Begins Testing Lithium-Ion Taxi [internal]

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DISCUSSION

Whatever, haters. I think it's kinda cool. Unless you're nearing terminal velocity up the West Side Highway, New York City cabs never go so fast as to make aerodynamics relevant. And as for style, it's not as though all those busted Crown Vics have set new standards of taxi chiq. Look at London Taxis and old Checkers—by themselves, they're ungainly and goofy, but have nevertheless become beloved icons because they're ubiquitous purpose-built vehicles.

On a related side-note, the Parsons New School for Design did a taxi project last year, but on more than just form. Here's a link to a slide show: http://images.businessweek.com/ss/05/10/taxi/…

And here's a link to a short story MIT did on it: http://www.mitpressjournals.org/doi/pdf/10.116…