VW Redesign the London Black Cab – Tablet Touchscreens and Electric Motor

London’s Black Cabs are as famous as red phone boxes, double deckers and post boxes and as the London Routemaster has had a once-over VW have put forward this concept for the London Taxi.

Keeping with the Hackney Carriage’s black paint scheme the VW design splashes a greyscale Union Flag on the roof and an electric motor under the hood.

Based on the Up! city car (which I brought to you in September 2009), the London Taxi Concept has an estimated range of 186 miles and only takes an hour to go from empty to an 80 percent charge.

It can take 2 passengers (which is a drop from the usual 5 – or 4 with band equipment!) as VW thinks that two seats is enough for nearly all cab journeys.  However, a collapsible jump seat fitted into the front luggage compartment is being considered by the designers.

The people in the back will have touch-screen tablet based infotainment so they don’t have to listen to amusing tales that start “You’ll never guess who I had in the cab the other day…….”. Those screens will dish out local info as well as giving language translation and swipe card payments.

Apparently the VW Concept Cab doesn’t pass all the neccessary regulations – for a start you may have noticed the drivers seat is on the wrong side 😉

Other things VW has to keep in mind before they’re allowed to produce this as a Black Cab is that the vehicles have to be able to accommodate a wheelchair and achieve a tiny 28ft turning-circle. The sliding electric side door would also be on the correct side for right-hand-drive markets.

The glass panels in the roof are a nice touch as most of London’s buildings have managed to retain their original architecture from the 1st floor up 😉

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