Cabbies saved by GPS

PROSPECTIVE New York taxi drivers are no longer being tested on the city’s geography in order to obtain a licence, the latest indication of how GPS technology and online car services such as Uber have shifted the traditional cab business.

The city’s taxi drivers were never subjected to an examination as daunting as “The Knowledge“, the famously tough test undertaken by London black cab drivers.

But questions about the locations of the New York’s famous landmarks or routes between popular destinations have now quietly been dropped from the test after failure rates among entrants soared in recent years.

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) said it was “modernising” the 80-question test to provide a greater emphasis on safety issues and training after the changes were revealed by the New York Times.

The reduced focus on geography reflected the adoption of advanced navigation technology, a spokesman said. Some taxi industry experts said the success of internet-based taxi business such as Uber and Lyft was also a factor.

– The Daily Telegraph

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