Tom Hutley is not your average taxi driver. He is also a popular YouTuber who shares his insights and experiences of driving a black cab in London. In one of his recent videos, he reveals why he doesn't use a sat nav to navigate the streets of the capital.
Tom, like all other qualified black cab drivers in London, had to pass the in-depth road test called the Knowledge of London (KoL). The KoL is a rigorous examination that requires cabbies to memorise thousands of streets, landmarks, routes and restrictions within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. It can take years of study and practice to master the KoL, but it gives cabbies an edge over other drivers.
In the video, Tom compares the route a cabbie would take from a point in the City of London to London Bridge Hospital. He shows how using Google Maps would suggest a longer and more congested route.
Thanks to the KoL, Tom knows that he can take a shorter and faster route that goes over London Bridge, which is only accessible to publicly hailed taxis and buses.
Tom also explains how using a sat nav would be impractical for cabbies due to the time it would take to input the destination after being hailed by a passenger. He adds that cabbies have a dense local knowledge of multiple drop-off points at destinations like railway stations and hotels, which a sat nav might not provide.
Tom's channel has received 100,000’s of views from people who appreciate his commentary and knowledge of the industry.