New York's Mayor Michael Bloomberg has announced the three finalists still in the race to provide a new taxi to replace the city's famous yellow cabs.

The three models have been created by Ford, Nissan and Karsan and have now been entered into a public vote so that New York residents can choose their favourites.

The winning proposal will be announced in early 2011 and be on the road no later than fall 2014, the Mayor's Office said.

It is the first time that taxi designs have been developed specifically for New York City in a similar manner to Britain's black cabs, which were originally designed for London use but have since spread all over the world.

Among the options are a modified Ford Transit vehicle, a model based on the Nissan NV200 and a car created by Turkish automaker Karsan Otomotiv, which features a see-through roof for gazing at the city's skyline and has been created from scratch.

"The yellow cab is one of the most iconic symbols of New York City," said Mayor Bloomberg.

"Taxis have been an important part of our mass transit network for more than a century and we are going to create a new taxi for our City that is safer, greener and more comfortable than the ones we have today."

"We want New Yorkers to take part in this process and tell us the features they want to see in the Taxi of Tomorrow."

New York residents can log onto http://www.nyc.gov and vote on the features the want to see on the final design.

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