When ever I hail a taxi I usually like to sit in the front and chat to the driver. The conversation usually starts with “now then squire, what’s your MPG in this car?”. This is swiftly followed by questions about the reliability of the car, how many miles has it covered and other intimate details of the inner workings of a taxi. The clarity of the questions varies depending on my state of inebriation.

I have come across some surprising statistics, like the Mercedes in Greece that had covered over 1/3 million kilometres with few problems.

Mercedes S63 Taxi with over 300,000 Kms.

This had the same engine as in my C63, a lovely cross plane V8.

Or the 30 year old vehicles in Morocco that were still tackling the roads with aplomb, one we rode in had 850,000 KMs and the driver was very proud of it.

Moroccan Taxis

So the news that San Francisco is among quite a few cities to trial driverless taxis I think is a bit of a shame. I’ve had some fascinating conversations with drivers, although quite a few were not so enthusiastic! I hope the “Robo-Taxis” of the future install a “Robo-Driver”, I need to talk to someone after a long liquid lunch!

Something to talk to!

Could be a few years before they come to Harrogate though, my post prandial prattling will be annoying local drivers for some time to come.