Taxi tech

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Technology has revealed two classes of taxi drivers: the old school drivers who have memorised every road, turning and landmark in the city and can optimize a route from any point A to any point B taking into consideration the typical traffic conditions; and the younger generation who rely on car navi systems to tell them where to go.

Tod encountered this yesterday when he took a taxi from his office to meet me at a museum in Ueno, a distance of about 3 km. "Ueno park, please, but not via Chuo-dori because there is a festival going on," he instructed the driver.

The youthful driver punched the coordinates into his navigation system and then consulted it at every pause in the drive. Red light: switch view to a wider area. Stalled traffic: scroll along the route. Waiting to turn: flip on the "street level" viewer to see the intersection.

That driver is never going to learn how to get from Otemachi to Ueno on the back streets, even though he did it yesterday.

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You are forgetting the third breed. The air sucking, head scratchers. They can be of any generation, but are usually identified by their huge unwieldy maps, pulled out at every red light to try to figure out where the hell they are.

This may or may not be accompanied by more air sucking and head scratching, and followed by a conversation along the lines of "I haven't been at this long/ I am from saitama...blahblah".

Don't tell me you haven't met these types.

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