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NYC Cab Drivers Need To Grow Up

Hear this, NYC cab drivers! Mobile technology is a good thing. Maybe the cab drivers -- who are striking in protest of plans to install GPS units in their cabs -- should talk to mobile field forces who use GPS day in and day out to get their jobs done. Or maybe talk to the customers they're supposed to be serving.
Hear this, NYC cab drivers! Mobile technology is a good thing. Maybe the cab drivers -- who are striking in protest of plans to install GPS units in their cabs -- should talk to mobile field forces who use GPS day in and day out to get their jobs done. Or maybe talk to the customers they're supposed to be serving.About a year ago I was taking a limo from Newark Airport to my home in New Jersey. Along the way, we encountered some serious, but not atypical, traffic. An accident had closed all but one lane and traffic was snaking along at less than a snail's pace. Rather than give up and just sit there, my driver tapped into a GPS unit he had sitting on the dash, found an alternate route, and got me home faster (which I really appreciated, as I had just taken a red-eye from the West Coast.)

That, my friends, is good customer service empowered by mobile technology.

It's become a habit of mine to chat up any field service professionals who visit my home. I ask them about their equipment, how they like it, and so on. While many griped a little bit about GPS, in the end they would admit to me that its usefulness outweighed any perceived privacy intrusions.

Businesses I've interviewed tell me again and again that GPS installed in work vans has become an essential part of the business. Using GPS-powered navigation applications allows businesses to save gas money, cut down wear and tear on their vehicles, all while making sure the vehicles are not used for non-business purposes.

This is well documented, and the New York Taxi & Limousine Commission knows it. Why, then, are the cabbies upset? Privacy.

I have to ask, does anyone really have privacy at their work place? Think about all the cubicle-dwelling office drones. Their boss can walk past at any moment to see what they're up to. What makes cab drivers so special that their privacy concerns outweighs the needs of their customers?

What makes the cab drivers think they have privacy in the first place?