South Korea’s capital city Seoul now has its first deaf taxi drivers


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A new software program was recently launched in the city of some 10 million people, and this has made it possible for deaf taxi drivers to take to the roads.

The communication-aiding technology was developed by a local start-up called Coactus, reports the Korea Times. To ensure clear communication between the driver and the passengers, two tablets are installed in the vehicle: one facing the back seat, and the other next to the driver. Passengers can indicate their required destinations by speaking, writing or typing the information using the interface.

The tablets run on an app called Goyohan Taxi or “silent taxi” in the Korean language. The technology was developed by Coactus, as part of a program run by university students. “We wanted to provide deaf people with more job opportunities,” Song Min-pyo, the head of Coactus, told the Korea Times. Song is a budding computer engineer studying at Dongguk University in Seoul.

According to Song, the app was partly inspired by similar projects by Uber. “We created software to make the same initiative work in Korea,” he said. “We knew Koreans would step out of the taxi the moment the driver tried to communicate with a notepad and a pen, like Uber – so we developed this app.”

Coactus intends to expand its app service in the near future. It will start with its first large-scale project that could create around 50 taxi-driving jobs for the hard of hearing in Namyangju, Gyeonggi Province, to the east of Seoul.

Source: The Korea Times