When one thinks London, one immediately thinks about the Queen, the Beatles, Big Ben, the double-decker buses or the black cabs à l’ancienne. Same goes for the yellow cabbies that adorn the streets of the Big Apple.
Other than the foreigner-friendly taxis seen around town and the lowered taxi fares, Japan is putting in its best efforts in preparation for the anticipated increase in visitors for the upcoming Olympic and Paralympic Games. It has recently joined in on the trend and has come up with what it hopes to become the new “taxi icon”.
Toyota Motor Corp., which owns 90% of Japan’s taxi market, on Monday launched the “Japan Taxi”, which is the first model released in close to 22 years by the company.
Mr. Akio Toyoda, President of Toyota referred to them as “one of [the] legacies that can be left [after] the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games.”
The Japan Taxi is equipped with an LPG-hybrid powertrain, power-sliding rear doors, allowing for better wheelchair access, safety tech and, wait for it; LED seatbelts for when it’s dark or when you’re drunk! Talk of forward thinking.
Compared to the Eighties-esque saloons, these bad boys are taller and roomier. Its beautiful koiai color (traditional deep indigo blue) aimed at improving demand from foreigners traveling around Japan. Toyota Motor Corp. hopes to replace one in three of the taxis in Tokyo by 2020.