The current London cab is one of the few purpose-built taxis in the world but its design is over 20 years old and in need of modernisation.

RCA Vehicle Design and the Helen Hamlyn Centre for Design are working jointly on this major design project with Studio Hexagon and vehicle maker Karsan, both based in Turkey. The aim is to develop a low- emission London taxi that meets the needs and aspirations of drivers and passengers of all ages and abilities.

The starting point for the project was Karsan’s Concept V1, a prototype taxi with a large, airy interior that is lightweight in construction. An inclusive design approach was used to underpin research and development. Central to the study was the use of co-creation workshops and events with Londoners.

The project focuses on five areas: driver space (increasing comfort); passenger environment (more flexibility); driver interface (using new technology); iconic look (important for London) and door aperture (to ease access). Design studies and models shown here were first unveiled at the Mayor of London’s Zero Emission event earlier this year.

Hexagon Studio and Karsan logos

Hexagon and Karsan logos