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Old 10-21-2009, 02:12 PM   #1
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Default Next-Wave Mexico City Taxi Concept May See Daylight

CAMBRIDGE, UK Industrial designer Alberto Villareal developed the concept of a sustainable taxi including a lightweight, flexible solar panel on the roof that could be used to provide power for some of the car's electronics and supplement the fuel cell used to run the vehicle. Originally designed in 2008 for a design competition in Mexico City, where the designer lives and works, the MX-Libris taxi was nominated for and won the coveted Red dot concept award in 2008.

A few months ago, two companies independently contacted Villareal, to discuss developing the concept. One is a taxi distribution and management firm and the other a car body maker. Both are based in Mexico.

The MX-Libris taxi concept is a zero emissions vehicle designed for Latin American cities, taking into consideration the cultural, climate, urban demographic and transit conditions of cities on the continent.

Villareal's design includes a strip of lighting that runs around the taxi's roof in a band that can be switched on when the taxi is free. The designer wants to rely on conformable lighting technologies such as electroluminescent (EL) or flexible LED strips. LED or OLED technologies could be used for the head and rear lamps.

The MX-Libris would also employ drive-by-wire technology, where electronics replace mechanical elements and functions of cars, creating more room and also helping to make cars lighter and more fuel efficient.

Although the first prototypes would be expensive, the design could be adjusted. To fund the prototyping stage, Villareal will also apply to CTS (Centro de Transporte Sustentable) Mexico, an institute set up to promote green transport.
MX-Libris Taxi Concept: A New, Green Cab for Smog-Choked Mexico City? Industrial designer Alberto Villareal's idea for a zero-emissions taxicab for Mexico City won a coveted design award in 2008. Now, the fuel-cell-powered, drive-by-wire hack could see duty as a prototype for a next-wave car for hire. Alberto Villareal
Industrial designer Alberto Villareal had an idea for a zero-emissions taxicab to replace the copious cabs of his home domicile: smog-choked Mexico City. He named the fuel-cell-powered taxi, which maximizes space while reducing weight and uses solar power to supplement its electrical system, MX-Libris.

Officials at Design Zentrum Nordrhein Westfalen in Essen, Germany thought MX-Libris was such a novel solution to the city's car-for-hire ills that they gave Villareal their coveted Red Dot design award in 2008. Now, Villareal says two Mexico-based companies -- a taxi distribution and management firm and a car body maker -- could be ready to build a prototype of MX-Libris, and maybe even put it into production.

Part of the seed money for the EX-Libris prototype could come from a Centro de Transporte Sustentable (CTS) a non-profit, non-governmental organization set up to fund such transportation projects.

The design also includes a drive-by-wire system, which replaces mechanical with electronic systems, and low-voltage lighting technologies like electroluminescent or flexible LED strips.
via Automotive Design Line
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Old 10-21-2009, 02:44 PM   #2
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