Quite a few customers ask if it's still worth doing the knowledge with new technical innovations like Sat-Nav. The answer is simply yes. I'm sure that people asked similar questions when the A-Z map of London was first published, but still, it's just another tool that we can add to assist us in the job.
Of course we occasionally make mistakes like when I misheard the passenger wanting to go from Victoria to Adeline Place. What she actually said was Adelaide Street. So having driven past her intended destination and then all the way back to just opposite Charing Cross, I offered her the ride for free. "Nonsense," she said. "I would have still paid you and given you a tip, here's a tenner for you!". I tried to refuse but she was insistent.
Sometimes you also hear of stories about passengers not paying but how about a mate of mine who took a rather drunk American to one of the Mayfair Men's club (Didn't these used to be strip joints a few years back?). With a whole £4.80 on the clock the passenger gave my mate two fivers and got out of the cab, not waiting for his change. On reaching the door of the club he suddenly turned back to the cab and said, "Hang on, I haven't paid you" and promptly gave the driver another fiver.
Anyway, back to sat-nav. Similar to the coach driver who took a coach load of school kids to Hampton Court, near Highbury corner, instead of to Henry VIII's palace, a mini-cab firm got it spectacularly wrong when trying to get to Stamford Bridge to see Chelsea play.
Yes, I think we still need the knowledge.