Uber App Offers Basic Sign Language Tips to Chat With Deaf or Hard of Hearing Drivers

Discussion in 'iOS Blog Discussion' started by MacRumors, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Uber has rolled out an update to its iOS app that enables riders to learn basic sign language on the go so they can communicate better with deaf and hard-of-hearing drivers.


    Uber announced the new feature in a post on its website, where it said the ride-hailing service had "thousands" of deaf drivers in the United States alone, and that the update was in support of National Deaf Awareness Month.

    Uber has actually included interface features for its hard of hearing drivers for the last couple of years, such as flashing screens for ride requests instead of audible notifications, and allowing drivers to receive texts rather than calls. But the latest feature, which currently only works in the U.S., will surely come as a welcome addition.

    The Uber app is a free download for iPhone available on the App Store. [Direct Link]

    Article Link: Uber App Offers Basic Sign Language Tips to Chat With Deaf or Hard of Hearing Drivers
  2. Ericus Macabeus macrumors member

    Jun 22, 2009
    Delray Beach, Florida
    This is a really thoughtful and needed feature. Good job Uber.
  3. JosephAW macrumors 68000


    May 14, 2012
  4. Gorms macrumors 6502


    Aug 30, 2012
    Personally, I really like that they've done this, and from a company with as bad a rep as Uber at the moment. They probably needed this.
  5. cheesyfox macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2017
    Hartford, CT
    While I agree that using text is simpler for the drivers, the passengers would be more impressed if the driver starting using ASL with them. It's the little things that lead to a good customer experience.
  6. HacKage macrumors 6502

    May 14, 2010
    This is for the opposite way round though, for us, the riders to communicate better with the driver.

    I'm not sure how much communication needs to go on, they already have the address you're going to, with Sat nav. Surely anything else it would be a lot easier to just open up notes rather than try sign, get it wrong, get frustrated and open up notes...
  7. nburwell macrumors 68040


    May 6, 2008
    I can't believe I'm saying this, but great job Uber.
  8. winglet69 macrumors member


    Jul 6, 2010
    London, UK
    Big deal. I heard Lyft is adding Braille for their blind drivers.
  9. Rocco83 macrumors 6502

    Jul 3, 2011
    I am not at all trying to sound like an ******, but I’d rather my driver keep their hands on the wheel.

    I mean that about the non-deaf drivers as well. I have had some pretty close calls when my Uber driver wanted to turn around and talk to me, or just takes their hands off the wheel because they are one of those people that cannot convey their thoughts without a flourish of the hands.

    I do not mind the conversation, but more often than not I just want to hop in the backseat and not engage anyone until I am wherever I am heading. Thank them for the ride, pay them, tip them, and off I go.
  10. Mindcrime macrumors regular


    Oct 24, 2003
    Houston, Texas
    Ur in america, uber drivers, learn to speak AMERICAN. omg.
  11. jrlcopy macrumors 6502


    Jun 20, 2007
    Yeah now we need an uber app for all the drivers in the states that don't speed a word of english, JFK/LAX are loaded with Mandarin only speaking drivers, their entire car dash has the language changed to Mandarin. Not the safest drivers in my experience, takes me 10 mins to explain to them what an uber pool is and that "yes, that's me on the app but you also have to pick up someone else"
  12. foxcub6 macrumors regular

    Oct 30, 2011
    I didn’t think drivers that weredeak would be allowed to drive a car let alone taxi paying passengers about .
  13. elfxmilhouse macrumors 6502a

    Oct 15, 2008
    Northeast USA
    what do you think the "A" in ASL means?

    American Sign Language.
  14. justperry macrumors G3


    Aug 10, 2007
    In the core of a black hole.
    It's a good think all people are included in normal life with all its inconveniences, but, I think this is just a bit over the top.

    I also think it would be better to show subtitles on Tv then those people with sign language, sorry, they kinda annoy me.
    I think they do a much better job on that in the UK with coloured subtitles for different people, they also explain background noises like music.
  15. entropyfl macrumors regular

    Oct 12, 2009
    Hope it teaches the “please don’t rape me” gesture. Maybe it’s just been a misunderstanding this whole time.
  16. dougal55 macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2009
    As a deaf guy who uses sign language extensively for years, this is a cool move on the part of Uber to do that. Personally, that can only mean there might be a version of it in the UK too (some of you don't know this but sign languages around the world are different from each other - in signs not words so what works in USA won't necessarily work in UK for example) So there might be a UK version with British Sign Language (BSL) in the pipeline?

    Honestly, I do know that most deaf people, not just deaf drivers for Uber, can be quite impressed if a hearing person tries to communicate to them in sign language. Deaf drivers can even teach the passengers different signs, who knows?
    --- Post Merged, Sep 29, 2017 ---
    That much is true as a UK TV viewer - it was always helpful to see who said that and where, what music is being played and so on. I have been to other countries and they are not the same as the UK, in some cases much worse than UK.

    And no it is not quite over the top mate, it would be if Uber was suddenly providing a plethora of signs (and perhaps some useless ones too) which would not help much or not at all but rather, I feel it is up to both the Uber users and the deaf drivers to cater for each other every time Uber is used. Thats all we ask for. So no it is not over the top, I think it is just about right balance.
  17. cariacou macrumors 6502a


    Jul 21, 2010
  18. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    I didn’t think so either. Not completely deaf anyway. How do they hear sirens and horns in emergency situations?
  19. User008 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2015
    You mean those big things ... WITH BRIGHT, FLASHING LIGHTS?
  20. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    Sigh.. I didn’t believe anyone would actually come back with that argument.

    Why do you think it’s illegal to drive with headphones on?
  21. GlowEarth macrumors newbie

    Aug 20, 2010
    As a deaf guy myself. I’ve been drive since I was 15. I’ve been drive for 23 years. I can see brightest flash on all of emergency vehicles. Fire, ambulance, and police vehicle. The report said that deaf driver is the safest driver on record because deaf depend on their eyes to be alert for anything happen around them. The hearing depend on their ears but not pay attention on any situation. (There’s too many hearing driver in car wrecks on road than deaf driver.)

    About headphone... it is not illegal to use it while driving. Hearing can stay alert on the road and talk to someone on the phone or send command to either Siri or Ok Google to send text or to listen the music.

    Federal law has approve deaf people to drive. It been like this for years.

    By the way, “Ur” mean your. “U’re” mean you’re. Those words has been invented by deaf people and relay service for the deaf when they used TDD (Telecommunications Device for the Deaf) with Relay Service. It is old technology. We use videophone now.
  22. subjonas macrumors 65816

    Feb 10, 2014
    I wasn’t trying to say deaf people should not drive. I’m just asking questions. I realize emergency lights exist, but I know personally being able to hear sirens coming from around the corner at an intersection help me to slow down before the lights come into view. Also hearing car horns help avoid accidents.

    As for headphone laws, I guess it depends where you are. In California it is illegal to wear both ear buds. But one bud, two buds, music, Siri—my point is simply that laws regarding wearing headphones while driving exist because hearing is important for driving safety.
  23. User008 macrumors newbie

    Oct 24, 2015
    If your state is going to trample individual rights, it’s far easier and more ethical to take away a voluntary action (wearing earbuds while driving) than to disqualify a whole swath of potential drivers (deaf people) when the latter can be overcome by the aforementioned BRIGHT, FLASHING LIGHTS.

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