The London cabbie’s knowledge of back streets and short cuts is near legendary, and for many decades it simply had to be; without sat-navs and mobile internet a taxi driver wouldn’t be able to fulfil their job effectively without either having the streets memorised or constantly holding up passengers by checking the maps.
Nowadays, of course, nobody needs to worry and a taxi driver can easily plug the route into their GPS system of choice and follow the directions. Hey presto, you’ve arrived at your destination, without having to rely on the all too fallible human memory.
So the question is, which is better – your own knowledge or the conveniences of digital directions?
A GPS Can Store More
No matter how good your memory is, there’s no way that it can store as much information as is available on the ‘net. This means that, almost always, there will be some small side road that you’ve just never come across before. Which is all well and good, until that becomes your passenger’s destination; a GPS can avoid the awkward moment of ‘you want to go where, mate?’
Knowledge is Vital in Case of Blocked Routes
Bad traffic or a tree in the road, when your preferred route is blocked it can be an absolute nightmare trying to get the GPS system to spit out a reasonable alternative. With your own knowledge, however, you can come up with an alternative route that stays clear of anything, like road works or even traffic lights, which may cause a problem.
Using a GPS Opens up the Profession to More People
In the days of memory-or-bust, it was very difficult to become a taxi driver if you weren’t naturally blessed with the ability to keep an enormous road map stored in your brain; with a GPS, more people who like the idea of the freedom and the sociable nature of the job can choose to become taxi drivers.
Knowledge is a Badge of Honour
One of the great things about keeping all those routes stored in your very own human brain is that it gives you a skill and body of knowledge which most people just can’t come to close to. Although this is a factor which might not actually affect your performance in the job, it’s certainly nice to know that, should your sat-nav direct you down a ridiculous route, you have the knowledge to sort it out.
We reckon that the best option is probably to combine the two; embrace the luxury of the GPS system, but never forget to back it up with your own specialist knowledge. However you prefer to run your taxi, we can provide private hire insurance to ensure that you’re never left in the lurch.« Back to all news