Does your Cabbie speak English?

There’s been a lot of news in the UK on the subject of cabs vs Black Taxis and the battle of app driven booking systems that under cut the cost of travel in the London marketplace. I’m all for disruption if it saves money doing everyday tasks. But Uber has created quite a stir in Blighty across the pond. And the traditional Black Cab owners are up in arms about this online platform that threatens to erode their livelyhoods.

I’m all for a level playing field so our UK Taxis need to compete or dominate on a similar scale and develop a robust booking system that attracts the masses so they can hold onto marketshare.

In the meantime other players like Hailo will come onto the scene to provide additional competition.

But the latest tech breakthrough is even more extraodinary…

Uber has teamed up with Duolingo to enable its drivers in Colombia to self-certify their proficiency in the English language — and for riders to specifically request an English-speaking driver. The Duolingo proficiency test takes $20 and about 20 minutes for drivers to complete remotely; organizations like the Harvard Extension School, the Max-Planck Institute, Carnegie Mellon, LinkedIn and Upwork all accept it. To date, Uber reports that 1,000 of its drivers have been certified.

This is so important as only last year, Uber launched a similar “Uber English” service in Shanghai, but interviewed and selected English-speaking drivers in person, one by one. By dematerializing this vetting process and using Duolingo, a crowdsourced language service with 100 million users, Uber can scale its English-certified drivers quickly and easily. No doubt a major opportunity¬† of employment for new arrivals of foreign nationals embarking on a new life in Europe and other countries if Uber rolls-out this additional feature.

 

What disruptive idea interests you?

To the next

 

Steve

 

 

 

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