All hail Nissan.
The Japanese automaker has been selected to produce the “Taxi of Tomorrow” after submitting a bid based on its NV200 minivan design, sources said.
Mayor Bloomberg is set to make the announcement Tuesday morning at City Hall.
The Daily News reported last week that the Nissan bid received the highest score in the competition based on design features like interior legroom and durability.
Bloomberg and Taxi and Limousine Commission Chairman David Yassky in November revealed that Nissan was among three finalists in the competition, along with Ford and Turkish carmaker Karsan.
At the time, officials said the winner would get a 10-year contract giving them exclusive right to make and sell yellow cabs to city hacks and fleet owners.
An interior shot of the Nissan cab.
The choice is bound to be controversial. While there are 13,200 yellow cabs, only about 240 are handicapped accessible. Advocates saw the competition as an opportunity to increase the mobility for the estimated 50,000 wheelchair users in the city, along with many others who have difficult walking.
Advocates for the disabled have been pushing for the Karsan design because it featured ramps that mechanically extend from both sides of the vehicle. Its design also featured a see-through roof, offering new vertical vistas for everyday riders and tourists.
Large fleet owners wanted the Ford Transit Connect, another van that has been used for commercial purposes in Europe and has been approved for use as a cab in U.S. cities like Boston.
Either way, the taxi of the future won’t be on the road anytime soon.
“Once the TOT (Taxi of Tomorrow) model is selected, TLC must necessarily engage in a lengthy contracting process before the TOT vehicle is in the market,” Assistant Corporation Council Robin Binder wrote to the federal government last month. “Thus, the TOT vehicle is a long way from actually appearing on the streets of the city.”