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- [Narrator] Let's say you're in London.
You need to get from the London Eye
to Buckingham Palace.
Buckingham Palace, please.
- We would leave on our right, Belvedere Road,
left to Italy Street.
- [Narrator] Wait, you know the whole route already?
- Oh, we have to.
All London black cab drivers have to have completed
We need to know all the streets and roads
in London to provide that service.
- [Narrator] All of them?
Oh, okay, let's go see where the Queen lives.
London is famous for its black taxis.
You need to get to somewhere, no sweat
because every black cabbie has to pass
an insanely hard test
known as The Knowledge.
Like this guy.
- Hello, my name's Peter Allen.
I've been a London taxi driver
for nine years.
How can I help?
The Knowledge is the test
that you have to pass
in order to become a London taxi driver.
It's the toughest taxi test in the world.
The first thing you have to do is
learn what's called The Blue Book.
As a cab driver, it's your bible.
You have to learn 320 routes around London,
so that's 640 quarter of a mile areas.
You have to learn 25,000 streets and roads
within a six-mile radius of Trafalgar Square
in London, you have to learn every single
point of interest, place of interest,
apartment building, housing estates,
police stations, mosques, synagogues, churches.
- [Narrator] A few moments later.
- Barber shop, furniture shop, china shop,
nightclub, bars, restaurants,
everything, anywhere where a paying passenger
may want to go.
- [Narrator] Okay, then, let's go the exam center.
- My name is Katie Channels
and I'm The Knowledge of London manager.
So, the exams are several phases
of oral appearances.
It's basically an interview-type situation
where you describe the streets and roads,
attempting to use the shortest distance
between Point A and Point B.
At the beginning, we might ask them
the name of a theater, where that theater is,
and by the end of The Knowledge,
we'd expect them to know what
is actually showing at that theater.
- [Narrator] On average, it takes two
to four years to learn The Knowledge.
The best way to study is to go out
onto the streets on a scooter.
Isn't that right, Abbas?
- My name is Abbas Ekta.
I've been studying The Knowledge
for about four and half years now,
and my next appearance is in
about three weeks' time.
It's like a full-time job.
You wake up in the morning, go out
on a bike a couple of hours,
come to the college, study, study, study.
Whilst I'm sleeping, I'm studying as well, yeah.
- [Narrator] One in five who attempt The Knowledge
That's the same success rate
as a U.S. Navy Seal.
GPS and sat navs are banned
in the exam, but why not use them
on the streets?
- My GPS is here.
And if we get somewhere and we see
a road's closed, we need to say, "Right, that's closed,
"but I know that if I go left here,
"that will take me there.
"If I go right here, that will take me there."
We need to be able to do all that
as well as having a conversation
with the person in the back
and solving the world's problems
at the same time.
- [Passenger] Leicester Square to Big Ben, please.
- So, you'd leave Leicester Square
by Irving Street, turn right into
Charing Cross Road, go forward to --