Offbeat

Futuristic Cab Concepts

The taxi cabs of the future may end up being very different than what we know them to be today.

The days of paying outrageous amounts to travel in the backseat of a shabby sedan may soon be over. For many living in the big city, cabs are a necessary evil. Many of these taxis are simply base-model sedans with grouchy drivers who don't accept credit cards. Grouchy taxi drivers may always be in existence, but the look of the cab could soon undergo a drastic change if any of these futuristic cab concepts can ever become reality. From personal cabs to glass-door taxis, the future of the cab is definitely looking good.

The Mercedes-Benz Nimbus was designed by Slavche Tanevski to be the green taxi of the future. Nimbus is powered by four electric engines mounted in the wheels. The design reorients the driver's seat in the center of the vehicle to give him a better view of the road and to give the passengers (up to five) more privacy. The Nimbus features large glass doors and windows designed to let light in and to let passengers look out.

A world free of credit card-declining cabbies may not be far off if the OPTI Driverless Taxi from Paul Piliste ever goes from concept to reality. OPTI is a small pod-car that runs off of electricity and can seat four adults. All that's needed to operate the OPTI Driverless Taxi is a destination and a credit card with the car taking care of the rest.

Walter Robert's Renault Runner is an eco-friendly taxi designed to link up with other taxis in the area. The boxy Runner runs off of electricity (duh) gathered through transparent solar panels installed in the windows. Up to three of Robert's Runners can wirelessly which would be useful for cabs heading to the same location.

The Peugot Capsul is another autonomous taxi designed for the future. David Portela is the designer behind the Capsul, a two-seat pod-car powered by two hydrogen fuel-cell engines. Portela's concept is sort of like a Zipcar in that it can be hired out for short trips around big cities.

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