Imagine this: you wanted to hail a cab. You raise your hand to whichever taxi that’s coming your way in hope it is vacant. Sometimes, you try your best to squint your eyes to see the tiny sign on or inside the taxi if is vacant. It really is a hit-and-miss adventure. Well, not if you are in Tokyo, Japan. Taxi company Kamereon Jidosha K.K. has eliminated the guesswork and answers the question of if the cab is occupied or vacant at a glance and even from afar.
How? By having the entire car paint changes color – from sakura pink to green and vice versa. The magic behind this revolutionary taxi status indicator is the color changing undercoat layer of the vehicle’s paint that is regulated by the engine’s exhaust. The science is based on thermochromic pigment first developed in the 70s. With thermochromic pigment, the paint is chemically structured to change color in response to temperature changes.
“As the temperature goes up, the pigment becomes colorless, revealing the base coat or graphics underneath,” Kamereon Jidosha K.K. owner Teruo Isshiki told The Japan Times. Kamereon Jidosha K.K. taxi can change between the two colors, cherry blossom pink and lime green, in around 90 seconds at a flip of a switch by the driver. There are 20 color changing taxis operated by Kamereon Jidosha K.K. which has a fleet of Toyota Prius and Nissan Sylphys serving commuters.
I never imagine myself saying this, but there’s actually innovations in the taxi industry. I am impressed. Unfortunately, we do not have any video of it in action and so, for now, we will have to take the words of The Japan Times’ reporter Hans Van Hook, who described it as “surly an amazing spectacle to behold,” for it. Though we would really love to see it in action..
Source and images: The Japan Times.