Cracking London’s Legendary Taxi Test

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Imagine a world without GPS or sat navs, one where you’d have to commit to memory thousands of streets and landmarks just to get around town. For London’s black cab drivers, that’s all a part of the job. In order to get behind the wheel, drivers must pass The Knowledge, universally regarded as the world’s toughest taxi test. Applicants often take two to four years to prepare for the infamous exam, memorizing over 25,000 street names and 20,000 points of interest. Only one in five applicants pass the test, giving The Knowledge the same success rate as the U.S. Navy SEALs. SUBSCRIBE: This story is a part of our Human Condition series. Come along and let us connect you to some of the most peculiar, stirring, extraordinary, and distinctive people in the world. Got a story idea for us? Shoot us an email at hey [at] GreatBigStory [dot] com Follow us behind the scenes on Instagram: Make our acquaintance on Facebook: Give us a shout on Twitter: Come hang with us on Vimeo: Visit our world directly:

Comments from Youtube

Cpt_Phobos : Huh, I don't even know half the streets in my neighbourhood

Saltiest Salted Salty Salt : He know da wei I'll leave

ZenXXII : Shhh. We are actually a secret organization protecting the UK and the Queen, independent of government agencies, equipped with highly advanced technologies under the guise of being taxi drivers.

Mexican Lexicog : It’s also famous for its fake taxi🍆

Redapple : if war breaks out they would be great human maps lol

Kek : I remember being in London and one of the cab drivers explaining this to me. Absolutely blew my mind. Unlike many other cities (NYC, Miami, etc.) the cab drivers in London are actually smart.

Cyberknight_ID : 17 dislikes are New York taxi drivers

Journey and Explore : Seems extremely excessive. Do cabbies in England make incredible salaries? Why is this required when we have gps?

Gaurav Nautiyal : in India you dont even need to know how to drive a car for a licence .

Ivo Sotirov : Which is why black cabbies cost a bloody fortune, and everyone uses unlicensed drivers, which is dangerous.

Thomas Stjernfeldt : if it so hard to pass the test how can the fake taxi drivers get lost

Moifi kea : My dad is a taxi driver in London I don't think he knows shit

John Ray Ng : now I wanna know how uber, grab, and other ride sharing businesses impact the taxi businesses

Ace : I'll rather drive for uber and have built in gps than to waste 4 years learning roads and be on someones schedule

Inzaghi Moniaga : Uber has this test called registration

CybranM : They brought up the question of why not just use GPS but they didn't answer it. To me it seems totally redundant to have to memorize the whole city when you can just use GPS with very similar results.

Øx_ : Out of money? Don't worry we can bring you to a narrow street to negotiate!

Jewels : Are you getting paid a doctor’s salary for that much work???

Kriss : It's not like we have gps

Henryk Gödel : I looked it up and their average salary is 23,000 pounds or $32,738.58. So, considering the cost of living in London, they're pretty poor.

Scelestus13 : This is a really impressive display of dedication and memorization... Also pretty damn near useless. Fill your head with useful stuff or go to uni for that amount of time. A GPS is about 90% as good.

TheJohn8765 : This was far too short. The Knowledge deserves a longer video, imo ;)

idris idris : And that’s why we have GPS

Howl Pendragon : I'd stick to studying Medicine 👌🏽

Bryntin : Yes GPS is a thing, but you cant input the destination into the sat nav or whatever while on the move int he UK, it's illegal. So time you've sat there got the location off of the customer, put it into your device, got the device to plot it the guy with the knowledge is already off down the street.

Hisham Daniel : why most of taxi drivers in london looks like someone from the kingsman?

girlonline exe : In America your driver is typing it in google maps as you’re telling them where you want to go 😂

Mister Tree : Come on people! They LITERALLY EXPLAIN IN THE VIDEO why they don’t use GPS!

liizzset : Whoa. Did not know all of this. Mind blown. Thanks GreatStories.

PlayDirty : wow genius taxi driver

Patrick Miles : It's impressive but I don't think it's worth the expenses involved to make the drivers outright memorize all of the routes given the technology that a 10 year old could use to navigate nowadays.


Dark Rays Of Sunshine : Meanwhile I can barley remember what I ate today

imkindahungry04364 : Uber must not exist in London because these guys would be out of business 😂

Kevan808 : I hope they get paid well!

Tobey Steinman : Impressive. Now, where's my Uber?

Priteesh Garg : What if you just wannabe a Fake Taxi driver

Rafsan Ahmed : American yellow cab is better. They make there own route. By overtaking someone else routes.

Syafiq Zaid : This is the best way to compete with Uber. I'm sure will take this cab than Uber if I come to this city.

in Valhalla神様 : It is unfortunate that automation will do away with these jobs because they are pretty cool.

Oded Gvaram : sorry but this is not a Great story because they block competition. today we have a Google map or wazea

Elmo is RITz : lol, is harder than collage

You : Hello Google maps

ryan fiesta : and when you applying to become uber driver they didnt ask you to memorize everything, the training is only a couple of hours

Potato : Next Video : Cracking World's Legendary 'Fake Taxi' Test.

wot in tarnation : I could never be a taxi driver, sitting for that long would be too damn much

Enigma White : The pay better be great

Malik Oumarou : Faketaxi anyone

3 B31 : Google maps ?