I was chatting with a student the other day about an interesting proposal to stick a black box in all of Milan’s taxis. This box of tricks would be linked to GPS, UMTS and other services and would be able to tell just what the ideal route for a destination is, meaning that the old trick of taking you all round the houses will not work. Needless to say the taxi drivers are not all that keen on the idea seeing as even the old ‘Via Washington has been closed due to an accident’ trick will not work any more. The only other way of avoiding these little fiddles, before the black boxes become de rigeur that is, is to speak Italian with a strong Milanese accent, although even that would not help you get away with the ‘road blocked due to an accident’ trick.
Of course, had the taxi drivers been a little more honest in the first place, there would have been no need for these magic boxes. Sometimes by being dishonest you can shoot yourself well and truely in the foot. Although it is likely that more people will take taxis once the boxes have been installed because they will now know that the price being charged is fairer and quite possibly lower. More business for the taxi drivers means higher earnings, so the black boxes should only really affect the really tricky drivers.
Technology to the rescue!
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