Business Technology

Hailo argues that driverless cars are "killing a huge part of Britain’s heritage"

3 min read

27 March 2015

In the 2015 Budget, George Osborne pledged an extra £100m “to stay ahead in the race to driverless technology”. Already four pilot schemes in London, Bristol, Milton Keynes and Coventry are underway. But Hailo has taken a recent stand against the driverless world.

KPMG research revealed that by 2030 driverless cars will create 320,000 new jobs. Some 25,000 of those will be in automotive manufacturing. The industry will also add £51bn a year to the nation’s economy and save 2,500 lives by preventing accidents.

Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, suggested that the UK needed to capitalise on its advantages to take the lead in the field.

“Connected and autonomous cars will transform our roads and the way society functions for generations to come,” he said. “The report shows the UK automotive industry is leading the way in developing the cars of the future that it will act as a catalyst for wider economic benefits.

“The UK must grasp the opportunities ahead so it is continually at the forefront of pushing through these next breakthrough technologies.”

But Hailo is arguing that the knowledge and experience of the traditional cab driver is something that can’t be replaced by technology.

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Hailo CMO, Gary Bramall said: “People don’t want robots; they need to know that their driver will get them from A to B safely and securely. Nothing can replace the relationship a passenger builds with their driver and we need to stand up for drivers.

“Cabbies have been a part of this city for hundreds of years and the move towards driverless cars is killing not only an entire profession, but a huge part of Britain’s heritage.”

The taxi app has unveiled a series of “Face to Faceless” portraits designed to stand up for the role of the driver and “remind the city that cabbies are part of its DNA”.

Projected onto landmarks used to navigate the Capital by visitors, each taxi driver has been “captured in a photographic style designed to represent their knowledge and the stories they can tell about London”.

Appearing on recognisable buildings in the city, the campaign attempts to show how important cab drivers are to the London experience and why this shouldn’t be threatened by faceless driverless technology.

Bramall added: “By heroing cab drivers and projecting their faces over iconic London landmarks, we hope passengers remember there’s more to a journey than just the vehicle.”