Toyota is working on the future of the taxi in Japan

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Toyota Crown Comfort Taxi – Photo: Dick Thomas Johnson (Flickr) CC BY

In the country of the rising sun, there are no rules so strict in order to operate a car as a taxi. Nissan and Toyota have hoarded the vast majority of taxis in the country, although Nissan stopped manufacturing them last year. Your future generational replacement implies a business that Toyota does not think of resigning, since they are thousands of cars each year, the fleet amounts to about 250,000 taxis. In Japan there is a very high turnover of cars so expensive that supposed to keep them beyond 10 years, due to its comprehensive ITV (shaken).

In 2013, Toyota unveiled at the Salon of Tokyo vision taxi japanese of the future, quite inspired in the black cab british produced by London Taxi. This is a minivan with accessible design and low-floor, optimized for people with reduced mobility, the elderly or foreign users (due to its technological equipment, as a translator).

we’ll See the JPN Taxi final next year

While latest that vehicle, Toyota is working with representatives of the taxi drivers in order to improve the product. On the other hand, sounds like a compensation, after announcing the manufacturer that would invest in Uber -main competition to this guild – though the terms of the agreement did not affect the country nippon. The taxi drivers did not made them no grace to know the agreement.

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Prototype Toyota JPN Taxi (2013) – The final model will look like quite

Anyone who has been in Japan will have noticed that the overwhelming majority of taxis are Toyota Crown, Nissan Crew or Nissan Cedric. The design noventero has been upgraded very slightly, to maintain a adjusted price. These cars used exclusively as taxis, company cars or driving schools. Ford did something similar in the united States with the Crown Victoria. The interiors are very spartan, and it is normal to see them with hubcaps instead of wheels.

There are newer models, as Toyota Crown Hybrid, Prius, Nissan Leaf, etc

These sedans have the problem of not being adapted nor to the digital life or to the special needs of some passengers. A solution such as the JPN Taxi or London Taxi is more optimal, because they are vehicles designed from the ground up as taxis, are not adaptations of conventional cars. The form is superimposed on the function, it is clear.

The memorandum of understanding signed between Toyota and the japan federation of taxi drivers aims to popularize the taxis of universal design, collect the specifications necessary for greater enjoyment of the customers, and advance in technologies for driving autonomous for the future. In fact, Toyota wants to have by 2020 a model of taxi, self-contained, although that’s not like to many taxi drivers. Others, however, will appreciate that, to be able to devote his attention to the customers instead of driving.

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Nissan Crew Cab – Photo: Graham Stanley (Flickr) CC BY

A brief look at the taxis japanese current

, we distinguish the official taxi plates green of tuition. There is No unified color or regulations, each taxi company use the design that you want to differentiate yourself from your competitors. prices vary very little from one company to another, as well as the cars that use it. The rates are fixed for the first two kilometers (600-700 yen), and then increase by fractions of 300-400 meters (80-90 yen). The meter also moves through time if there is a prolonged detention.

In any of these cars we will find a driver wearing a suit, with white gloves, usually educated, and who do not usually speak English or other languages. The address is which supplied on paper or a map, or better, in GPS coordinates. The system japanese of classifying streets is so convoluted that even some taxi drivers understand. The cars are clean and they have covered the upholstery with covers that are washed often.

The left rear door, facing the street, is opened and closed remotely, no touching it. During the day the taxis are expensive compared with public transport, but by night they are highly demanded no alternatives. Obviously the service is a little more expensive in the evening, between 22:00 and 05:00, the fares increased by 20%. When the weather heats up, extremely sweltering with the humidity, the drivers remain with the motors turned on and the air conditioning to not be converted into saunas to them or their customers.

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Nissan Cedric Taxi (Y31) – Photo: naixn (Flickr) CC BY SA

That the design “obsolete” taxis are more popular we do not slip up. There are old cars, are of recent manufacture, with an old design. Under the hood you have and boosters up to date, almost no one uses a diesel engine, is more, most works on gas from factory! It is shocking the combination of design noventero with LED taillights and things like that.

Japan is a country very traditional, and it shows in their taxis

having finished the production of the Crown Comfort, Crew and Cedric, the taxi drivers will have to make new mounts. It is assumed that the JPN Taxi will be the obvious choice. The prototype is a hybrid, we do not know if the final model will be gas, hybrid or conventional hybrid plug-in. Later models of hydrogen will be viable alternatives. Japan’s strong commitment both for the electrical as by the hydrogen.

finally, some issues of cultural type for travelers. The driver will probably be quiet the whole trip, and not give a tip, you might be offended. The green light means occupied, the red available (upside down). Most use rear-view mirrors of flap by reducing the width of the car, not to invade the “privacy” of the front passenger, and having a smaller dead angle. This kind of mirrors was very common in Japan a few years ago, but already in the 80’s they adapted to the international system and not have to use two designs. In models, 100% japanese it is common to see them yet.