Anyone who's ridden in a taxi knows that cab drivers know their way around a city better than the average driver. They seem to have super-secret side-street maneuvers that shave minutes off a trip by avoiding traffic, lights, and other problems. Now researchers from Microsoft are mining cabbies' knowledge to create faster driving paths for online maps.Beijing's taxi companies and owner-operators are dynamic economic actors, resisting trade unionism and noted for their resistance to regulation. (See: S. Xiao-shan, An explanation of the regulation failure in the taxicab industry - tested on the case of the taxi regulation in Beijing. Paper presented at the International Conference on Management Science and Engineering .)
In other words, Beijing cabbies are perfect subjects for this research.