Plan Insurance Blog

Knowledge of the Future – Black Cab is set for change

Earlier this year saw the 150th anniversary of The Knowledge, the 3 year course that gives black cab drivers their high level of service and integrity to be London’s secret magicians.

Their brains actually adapt to enable them to pass the esteemed qualification before being granted a license (there is scientific evidence for this!) that takes 3 years.

The Knowledge – as every cabbie knows – is an act of devotion and sacrifice to London. We give ourselves over to it for two, three, four – more? – years. We do because we love it, and because we know at the end we will become elite Londoners, seers and practisers of magic (as any fare will concur if you take them through the bat cave at the Savoy hotel).
It’s no wonder we’re proud, is it? The Knowledge is a beautiful, mystic thing, integral to the spiritual workings of the greatest city on Earth. Long live it.
Cabbie Ian Beetlestone, talking in TfL’s new On Route mag

Our infographic below highlights the extent to which black cab drivers keep London moving, avoid traffic and deliver their passengers to the destination as quickly as possible.
Click on the image below to see the full infographic, and read just what London black cab drivers go through to insure that they are up to the demands of the job.
Infographic snip black cab


But although The Knowledge isn’t going anywhere, there is change in the air!

This week saw the unveiling of the hybrid black cab, during Xi Jinping’s visit to Lancaster House.

The hybrid, which switches over to a petrol engine when the battery runs out, is expected to hit the showrooms in 2017, a year before new rules come into force that all taxi or private hire vehicles will have to be “zero-emission” capable.
The TX5 was designed in Barcelona by British designers and vows to captures the “spirit of past generations” of black cabs.
Evening Standard 

black cab the knowlege and new hybrid cab

Photo: Evening Standard

So, what do black cab drivers think of this new cab?
Not only has the look been re-designed, it has the addition of a panoramic glass roof so your passengers can see even more of the great city of London, space for six people, along with wifi and electric device charging points.
The design still resonates of the iconic vehicle, but how do cabbies feel about it’s new, boxier shape?
Or will the benefits and positives of being emission-friendly, it’s electric capabilities and new technology outweigh the new look?!