As the big apple begins to slowly roll out its fancy new fleet of taxi cabs, a contest held by the New York Economic Development Corporation could one day see them further improved with sundry-dispensing vending machines.

Business students Brian Shimmerlik and Tomas Grosskopf won the NY EDC's 'NYC Next Idea' competition with their idea for TaxiTreats—compact vending machines installed in cabs that dispense small items like gum, headache medication, or even energy drinks.


For winning the competition the two received $17,500 to further develop the idea. Which will include figuring out if payment is done separately or as part of the cab fare, as well as convincing the New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission that it's a viable idea.

With the latter probably involving hefty markups, and the commission getting a healthy cut of the profits. [New York Economic Development Corporation via designboom]