Ever imagine taking a taxi ride down a busy New York street and being able to look up into the New York skyline? Well now you might be able to with Nissan’s NV200, which recently made its debut as New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow. On Tuesday,  Nissan’s President and CEO Carlos Ghosn, New York City Mayor Bloomberg, as well as  other New York City officials, welcomed the Nissan prototype at a special event held in SoHo.

The Nissan NV200 Taxi will replace the iconic Ford Crown Victorian sedan, which, until now, has been the staple image of the New York taxi. The four door sedan was first introduced in the mid-1990s, replacing other older taxi models, and upgraded in 2001, with the creation of a Ford Crown Victorian stretch. This newer model gave passengers an additional six inches of leg space.

The Taxi of Tomorrow boosts a transparent roof panel (that allows passengers to view the city in a new angle), spacious cargo space, independently controlled air conditioning, overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting, just in case you may drop something during your ride.

“The Nissan NV 200 unveiled today will be the safest, most comfortable and most convenient taxi the City has ever had,” said New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.”New York City cabs have always been iconic, and now they will set a new standard. The 600,000 passengers who use taxis to get around every day deserve the cutting-edge technology and top-of-the-line safety features that this model delivers.”

Nissan is confident with its prototype safety features, as it says its taxi is the “only taxi ever to be safety tested and certified with full taxi partition.” Its safety features include front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, seat-mounted airbags for the front row, as well as sliding doors to lessen risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck by doors opening unexpectedly.

The bid to become New York’s Taxi of Tomorrow began in 2007, when the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission met with stockholders, which included taxi drivers, owners and passengers, to speak of the future of the New York taxi. As of 2011, Ford’s Crown Victoria will no longer be manufactured and a suitable replacement was needed that was durable and efficient. By 2010, Nissan, Ford and Karsan were the three finalists were named, with Nissan being the ultimate winner in 2011.

The Nissan NV200 taxi will be unveiled to the public from April 6-15, in the 2012 New York International Auto Show being held in the Jacob Javits Center.

Karolin Geronimo