Wheelchair Accessible “Taxi of Tomorrow” Headed to Streets of New York, Features Manual Fold-Flat Ramp and Industry-First Integrated Restraint System
By Megan Wegner, Marketing Communications Manager, BraunAbility
NEW YORK (April 1, 2013) – As Nissan’s innovative NV200 taxi gets ready to take to the streets of New York City this coming fall, another crucial part of the “Taxi of Tomorrow” program was unveiled today at the New York International Auto Show – the wheelchair accessible NV200 Mobility NY Taxi.
Working in conjunction with BraunAbility, the Indiana-based market leader in wheelchair accessible vehicles and wheelchair lifts, the Nissan NV200 Mobility Taxi features a rear-entry ramp and an industry-first integrated restraint system that provides safe and quick securement of wheelchairs.
“With more than 600,000 people hailing New York taxis every day, it is important that the NV200 taxi be able to serve everyone, including those with disabilities,” said Joe Castelli, vice president, Commercial Vehicles and Fleet, Nissan North America Inc. “Nissan selected Braun as its mobility partner because of its deep experience and proven engineering capabilities. Braun has worked side-by-side with us since January 2012 – when the New York taxi was just a collection of computer drawings – and the final design is everything we hoped for and more.”
The Nissan Mobility Taxi looks like and functions like a standard NV200 taxi until the mobility functionality is needed. It’s a simple process. After pulling into a safe space at the curb, the taxi operator flips down the 2nd row seat back and pulls a release handle to tumble the seat forward. Next, after opening the wide rear doors, the operator pulls the fold-flat wheelchair ramp out and unfolds it and then loads the passenger. The wheelchair is secured with front and rear tie-down belts and the passenger is fitted with the lap and shoulder belt.
Once the passenger is in place, the ramp folds up and stows in a vertical position. The steps are reversed for exiting the NV200 once the final destination is reached. Then the operator stows the ramp and returns the second row seat to its normal position.
The wheelchair ramp is 30 inches wide, with a ramp angle of 8.6 degrees – exceeding Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. It is 72 inches in length and has a load rating of 800 pounds, 200 pounds above the ADA minimum.
“The mobility design meets or exceeds all ADA requirements for accessibility,” said Castelli. “The rear-entry ramp is safe and well-suited for the congested streets of New York City, eliminating the need for wheelchair users to cross traffic in order to enter or exit the vehicle.”
Nissan has been working with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission for two years to deliver the safest and most comfortable taxi ever to be on the streets of New York, including a total of eight airbags to ensure maximum protection of both the driver and occupants. The Nissan NV200 Taxi will feature unprecedented innovation and vehicle features to the 13,000-strong taxi fleet. Powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine, the Nissan NV200 is designed to reduce carbon emissions and enhance fuel efficiency across the entire taxi fleet as old models are replaced.
The Nissan NV200 is available in more than 40 countries globally, including Japan and Europe, where the wheelchair accessible models are already on the market.