WITH THE SUPPLEMENT "SPECIAL"
Moreover, the last horse-drawn taxi came off the line only at the end of World War II. If we talk about motorized ones, then the first-born should be considered the electric car “Bercy”. Several dozen of these cars traveled the streets of London since the end of the 19th century. Noisy and ineffective electrocabs saved a few years later before the nascent class of gasoline counterparts. Very soon, the perspicacious entrepreneurs realized what potential was hidden behind the car-driver. And off we go: on both sides of the ocean, dozens of companies began to make cars specifically for taxis: Morris, Unik, Checker, Renault, Winchester and, of course, Austin.
AT THE MOTHERLAND OF CABS
Almost from the first days, taxis differed from ordinary passenger cars. For example, the “Austin-FX3” of the forties were equipped with hydraulic jacks to lift the front or rear of the car, which helped the driver in the event of breakdowns not uncommon at the time. Repeaters of direction indicators visible from afar were installed on the roof; At the same time, light displays came into fashion, according to which the taxi was correctly identified in the stream.
The next model FX4 was destined to become a real classic and a symbol of London along with a double-decker bus. The "Black Cab" with a characteristic high body allowed real gentlemen to enter the cabin almost without bending down and freely sit together in a spacious seat for three of them. Moreover, for the delivery of noisy companies, two additional folding seats were provided. For the sake of comfort, passenger seats were equipped with a separate heater and backlight, and the driver’s work was facilitated by powerful hydraulic brakes and a record-breaking turning radius of 7.6 meters at that time. This model worked in a taxi for almost 40 years! It was only in 1997 that its dominance came to an end when the London Taxi International (LTI) TX1 model entered the market - in fact, a remake of the classics.
TX1 retained not only the classic “posture”, but also the interior architecture, which is built according to the traditional English scheme: the driver is separated from the passenger by a partition, and luggage is located next to it. However, some recently undeniable features of taxis still change in the spirit of the times: for decades, cabs in the UK capital have been painted exclusively in black, and today burgundy cars are more and more common.
The traditional look hides modern engineering solutions. Dependent suspensions gave way to independent ones, and a 2.7-liter diesel engine and a four-speed automatic, and then a Ford turbodiesel with a common rail system, took the place under the hood. The climate controls the microclimate, and the doors swing open 90 °, making it easier to land.
If you happen to be in Japan, then, having caught a taxi, do not try to “break into” the salon - you won’t be able to open the door. The secret is that Japanese cabs are equipped with electric door closers on both rear doors that work on the driver’s command! It's hard to say why such a “service” is needed in a relatively criminal country, but the fact remains: you won’t be able to get out of the car without paying until the driver again presses the button. It is curious that it was in Japan that taxis specifically designed for … the weaker sex appeared! While the experiment is being held in Kanagawa Prefecture near Tokyo. The results of the survey pushed him towards it, showing that more than 60% of Japanese women would be much more willing to get into a car with a female driver, especially in later times.
The taxi fleet of the Land of the Rising Sun itself is extremely diverse. The standard for painting also does not exist: you can meet black, and blue-white, and yellow, and red cars. But you always know the taxi driver - with snow-white gloves …
Tall skyscrapers, wide streets and “road cruisers” are America’s most automobile country in the world. Unlike in Japan itself, you will not see a variety of models and colors in taxis. Almost all cars are lemon-colored “Victoria Crown Victoria”. In America they are called "yellow cabs." Nobody will open the back door somewhere in Detroit for you, as well as keep it in the car - it's more expensive for yourself!
In 1967, the first taxis appeared in the United States with bullet-proof glass between the driver and the back of the couch - passengers often found themselves restless … One couldn’t count on “white gloves” either: mostly immigrants go to taxis, and more than half of those who come are from India, Pakistan and Bangladesh
This type of transport is extremely popular in megacities, since parking a personal car will not go broke for long. The residents of San Francisco pay the most for taxis in the USA: a trip of 2.8 miles lasting 4 minutes 45 seconds costs them $ 10.8, while in New York a similar trip eats $ 6.8. And don't forget the tip!
From a technical point of view, the “crown of Victoria” in yellow coloring is not much different from serial counterparts. The same unkillable suspension, the same gasoline engines with a volume of 4.6 liters and a capacity of 242 liters. with., automatic transmissions steadily withstand an average annual mileage of 64, 000 miles. The exception is the electronic filling of the machine. The times when radio communication between the machine and the “base” was considered chic have long sunk into oblivion. In San Francisco, dozens of cars are already equipped with monitors with Internet access. So you can pass the time for a trip by checking your mailbox or reading financial news.
For America, as for no other country, the global positioning system is relevant - GPS, fundamentally changing the concept of security. Like a cashier in a bank, a driver can raise an alarm at any time by pressing a secret button in a car or on a key fob in his pocket. In the next seconds, the location of the car will be detected and a police squad will go to help. Similar systems equip taxis in Europe. But here the emphasis is on calling the emergency services in the event of an accident. The TELE-AID system manually or automatically sends a signal to the nearest rescue outpost.
WITH SOLAR IN BLOOD
In Germany, the traditional taxi brand is Mercedes, which has occupied 75% of the market: almost 40, 000 German taxis carry a three-beam star. Hans Meisner, president of the Federal Association of Passenger Transport, explains this simply: Mercedes-Benz loses 15–20% less in price when reselling than cars of other brands.” How profitable to sell a car, the Germans are thinking when buying. Therefore, many people buy a taxi is not traditional yellow, but, for example, white. Then they hang it with stickers with checkers, which are easily torn off from a "retired" car, and before you is a regular white sedan, for example, an E-class …
It is the E-class that is especially popular with taxi companies. Often the car is idle only a couple of hours a day - drivers work in three shifts, winding up to 70, 000 km per year. In the Old World, diesel engines operate as taxis, which is understandable given the price of fuel. Perhaps the E200 CDI with a 116-horsepower engine and not the fastest of the "Mercedes", but for a taxi consumption is much more important - 6.2 liters of diesel per 100 km.
Manufacturers try to attract taxis in a variety of ways: for example, the interval between maintenance is increased to 30 or more thousand kilometers; give a four-year full guarantee from the date of registration; provide delivery of the necessary parts 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Finally, it may sound fantastic, but since 1998, Mercedes has been declaring a guaranteed service life of components and the body with proper operation of the machine and proper maintenance … 30 years!
Increasingly, it comes to the transfer of drivers to alternative fuels. In London, a hybrid diesel-electric cab of the joint production of London Taxis International and Azhur Dynamic Corporation operates. Compared to traditional, its power plant saves 35% of fuel and reduces harmful emissions by 90%. On both sides of the ocean, an increasing number of cars are converting to liquefied gas.
What will a taxi be like in 5-10 years? An attempt to answer this question was materialized in the conceptual design of "Cab 2010" by London-based Radio Taxis. In addition to satellite navigation, which gives information about traffic congestion, electronics allow the passenger to contact the bank and pay the bill for the trip by placing his finger on the scanner. The driver will be able to swallow tea without looking up from the road - for this, a “drinking” apparatus is provided; the sides of the car are decorated with electronic billboards, and the taxi logo on the roof is holographic. Fantasy? Who knows who knows…
FROM THE LIFE OF THE RUSSIAN TAXI
By 1912, in St. Petersburg and Moscow, there were 328 Laurin-Clement brand taxis and 225 NAG taxis; since 1925, more than a hundred Renault-KG have replenished taxi cabs. In 1940, three taxi fleets operated in Moscow.