Transport for London (TfL) has approved a new cabin safety screen developed by Toyota to help protect its private-hire taxi driver customers and their passengers from Covid-19.
The screen is made from clear polycarbonate material that Toyota says can reduce the chances of virus transmission.
It is compatible with all recent Prius models and the full Corolla range – hatchback, touring sports and saloon.
Installation by Toyota-qualified technicians is required but takes about 10 minutes.
The process involves no structural changes and does not damage the car’s interior; the screen is held in place by large tabs on its lower edge that are inserted in the front seatback pockets.
Toyota’s own testing showed that the screen remained securely fixed, even when driving at high speeds with the windows open.
The screen is clear and has a central opening flap for card or cash payments to be made. As well as being suitable for cabs, the system can also be used for demonstration vehicles and accompanied test drives.
Toyota liaised with TfL during the design process and the initial medium-size version is now TfL-approved as part of the requirements for its PCO licence holders.
Approval is awaited for a version suitable for larger models, including the seven-seat Prius+ and RAV4 SUV.
The screens are being made by Toyota Manufacturing UK and are available to order through Toyota retailers nationwide. Recommended retail prices, including VAT and fitting, are £195 for the medium screen and £210 for the larger version.
Stuart Ferma, Toyota and Lexus fleet general manager, said: “Transportation services everywhere are having to be adapted to take the risk of coronavirus transmission into account.
“We recognise the particular vulnerability of cab drivers and have come up with a solution we believe is effective and reasonably priced.”