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SK Telecom offers app for hearing-impaired cabbies

SK Telecom released a taxi-hailing app for hearing-impaired taxi drivers, the firm said Thursday, noting the service will help the disabled work in a significantly improved environment and secure a stable income.

The nation’s top mobile carrier said during a media conference held in Seoul that the firm worked together with startup Coactus to release the T Map Taxi app designed exclusively for hearing-impaired drivers.

SK Telecom first launched the T Map Taxi service in 2015 and renewed it in June last year.

Coactus developed and operates the Goyohan Taxi service that enables drivers and passengers to communicate via tablets through an app developed by the startup. Goyohan is the Korean word for silent.

SK Telecom said the firm is currently carrying out training sessions to teach deaf drivers, who use the Goyohan Taxi service, how to use T Map Taxi app.

“One-on-one training is underway. Deaf drivers will be able to fully utilize T Map Taxi app by the end of this month,” an official from SK Telecom said.

SK Telecom and Coactus said they expected the new service to create more opportunities for the hearing-impaired to find new jobs, and also improve convenience of taxi passengers.

The two firms joined hands last year to find ways to support the hearing-impaired.

T Map Taxi app for the hearing-impaired offers blinkers that help drivers notice calls from passengers, and messaging services between drivers and passengers.

“We will continue to improve the service after listening to opinions from deaf drivers,” the official said.

The telecom firm added the latest service is in line with SK Group’s push to create more “social value.”

SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won has stressed that enterprises will be able to achieve stable growth in the rapidly changing business environment when they create not only economic value for shareholders and customers but also create social value for various interest groups.