SK Telecom unveils new app for deaf taxi drivers hired by social company

Lim Chang-won Reporter Posted : 2019-03-14 18:59 Updated : 2019-03-14 18:59
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An SK Telecom official speaks about a new app for deaf taxi drivers. [Yonhap News Photo]

SEOUL -- Deaf drivers hailed a new app developed by South Korea's top mobile carrier, SK Telecom, for better navigation and communication with passengers. The app will be adopted by a social company which operates "Goyohan (silent)" taxis.

SK Telecom (SKT) said Thursday that it has unveiled the special app for Coactus, a social enterprise which applies commercial strategies to maximize improvements in financial, social and environmental well-being. Coactus has hired 12 drivers with hearing impairment for its Goyohan Taxi service.

Communication between Coactus​ drivers and passengers is conducted via tablets in the front and rear seats. Passengers type in or dictate destinations. Silent taxis are favored by passengers who want a quiet ride. Data showed the rate of Coactus' safety accidents was much lower than that of other normal taxis.

Buoyed by a favorable public response and SKT's new app, Coactus plans to increase the number of silent taxi drivers to about 100 by the end of this year. SKT hopes its app will create more jobs for disabled people.

SKT's app for Coactus features functions such as flickering notices to prevent missed calls, alerting for car marshaling and buttons to assist safe driving by preventing divergence.