Research Project Information

Research Project Summary Information

Design Specification for New York City Taxi(ST10386-1)

Design Trust for Public Space


The New York City taxi industry comprises over 13,000 medallion taxis (yellow cabs) and is in the process of adopting hybrid-electric vehicles and other innovations that reduce petroleum consumption and air pollution. To evaluate potential vehicle selection choices it is important to define a taxi driving cycle, i.e., develop a set of data that represents an average usage pattern (e.g., moment by moment changes in speed) for a taxi navigating the streets of New York City. This driving cycle then can be used in conjunction with a chassis dynamometer (essentially a treadmill for cars) to test vehicles, in a standardized manner, as to their fuel economy and emissions when “driven like a New York City taxi.”

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Project Description

Tasks in this project include: developing a data-collection plan for characterizing the operating profile of a New York City taxi; instrumenting a taxi and collecting in-use operational data; and, analyzing the data to derive a driving cycle for use in performing standardized tests of candidate taxi vehicles and fuel-saving ideas.


By assisting in developing more accurate fuel economy and emissions estimates for vehicles proposed for use in the New York City taxi fleet, this project could facilitate achievement of significant fuel savings and emissions reductions.

Project Results

The project was successful in instrumenting a taxi, collecting operational data, and defining a New York City taxi-specific driving cycle that can facilitate more-accurate estimates of the fuel efficiency of new vehicle types and other innovations proposed for the taxi industry. Accurate quantification of fuel and emissions impacts, in turn, may enable design and implementation of programs to promote adoption of clean, fuel-saving concepts.


Design Trust for Public Space
338 W 39th St Fl 10th
New York, NY 10018

Principle Investigator

Jerome Chou

Universities Involved


Project Type:

Research Study

Technologies Types:

Light Duty

NYSERDA Contact Information

Joseph Wagner


R&D -Transport & Power Systems

Contract Details

Start Date: 1/11/2010
Project Status: Active
Contract Number: ST10386-1

Last Updated: 9/13/2011