3 Reasons Taxi Doors Open Automatically in Japan | Guidable - Your Guide to a Sustainable, Wellbeing-centred Life in Japan

3 Reasons Taxi Doors Open Automatically in Japan

By Yae Nov 11, 2018

This post is also available in: Thai Vietnamese

Do you use taxi often in Japan? Even the public transportation such as bus, train, and subway are well-developed in Japan, taking taxi is a still very useful and convenient way if you’re in hurry to go somewhere.

When you try to catch taxi, have you ever wondered why the taxi door open automatically after the taxi stops besides you? Some people believe that the customer should be responsible for opening the door in general, but why isn’t that the case in Japan?

Allow me to explain.

1. The Size of the Taxi

It all began with a Taxi company called “Osaka Tonbo Taxi” in Osaka. During the 1950s, most Taxis were small in size and customers were more respect during that time, taking the time to close the doors themselves. As time went on and Japan became more modern, taking on more of the Western culture; customers became occupied and more forgetful, therefore leaving the doors open. As a result, taxi drivers saw themselves reaching back and struggling more and more to close the doors by themselves.

In addition to this, Taxi cars were being made bigger and bigger has time rolled on, and by the 1960s it had reached it’s peak. It became even more difficult for taxi drivers to close the doors themselves from the drivers’ seat. In an effort to solve this problem, Osaka Tonbo Taxi developed an amazing system that allowed the doors to open and close automatically.

Through this inconvenience, the people of Japan were able to create this breakthrough idea.

2. From Inconvenience to Hospitality 

As more and more Taxis with automatic door came out, it became of thing of convenience for both the driver and the customers. As the invention began to be more refined, in addition to its convenient use in the Tokyo Olympic, the number of Taxis with automatic doors began to increase.

During the Olympics, the concept of using this automatic door system was expressing the “Japanese way of hospitality” for all the foreigners who were visiting Japan for the Olympic. The people of Japan thought it could be helpful for foreigners if they could get in the Taxi quicker and more smoothly without using their hands; therefore leading to it’s increased popularity in the industry.

3. A Way to Prevent Crime in Front Seat

Lastly, this invention was also to protect the driver from harm. The automatic doors were an invention only implemented into the back doors of the Taxi. Doing this gives an immediately hint to the customer where he/she is to be seated and even groups of customers where they they are to seat. Although most people in Japan are friendly and have good intention for others, it is not a bad thing to be too careful, at least in the eyes of the Taxi companies. In addition, during the times when there is an high percentage of tourist such as the Olympics, Taxi companies wanted to take extra precautions to protect their drivers and allow them to focus as mush as possible.

Hopefully you are able to get a better understanding of the history and amazing point of automatic Taxi doors in Japan. Do you think it is useful and convenient? Let me know in the comments!