The struggle of spinning up Uber and traditional taxi companies is far from the end. The weapons of this war are quite different: opposing sides use drivers’ strikes, political lobby, propaganda and a variety of methods and professional technologies. GPS unit may also becomes a tool that is used in the battle for survival.
Uber and Taxi have a troubled relationship in a background. Anyone can be a taxi driver with a simple mobile application that can get and perform tasks and locate car’s position in real time. This handy app became a risk for workplaces of millions drivers worldwide. “Change or go,” declares the technology, but nobody wants to leave the market. However, it is a story about changing.
GPS technology can be used for both groups of drivers. Uber would be quite imperfect without cabs’ GPS tracking. A customer can monitor the car’s position only using a GPS widget. It is a heaven sent visual feature that we all need after years of booking traditional taxi cars by telephones. Now you may plan when exactly you will be at home tonight.
However, we can’t say that taxi drivers may work without using GPS units. Many taxi drivers have a GPS device to guarantee that they can find the right place of destination. It is necessary stuff for beginning drivers while some experienced cabmen use its own knowledge of a city map.
For example, it takes more than three years to be a qualified cab driver in London.
“First, they flit around the city on mopeds, learning the streets, and then spend months in rooms hunched over large, laminated maps. They draw routes with marker pens and then close their eyes and call out directions from the image in their mind. They’re building a mental map that will help them pass stiff tests and get the coveted green badge to allow them to drive a metered black taxi,” writes NPR.org reporter Leila Fadel.
The knowledge is vital for taximen and it commands the respect. Though is there any real needs to keep in mind all these streets, lanes and highway junctions?
Taxi companies go crazy in their denial of technology trends: no mobile applications, no e-booking, no GPS. It looks like the dead-end road for traditional services who stay in the 20th century. At the same time striking drivers may be equipped with all these features and finally stop their walkout backing to driver’s seats.
In any case, the one and only method to make a service more competitive (first of all, cheaper for customers) without cut a driver’s salary is to make this kind of business more advanced.
Unfortunately, taxi fleet owners choose the other way and lobby their interests by blocking Uber’s work and using imperfections of laws. It is sad and funny at one time that Uber’s activity in courts can match only with the investment’s value and its popularity.