Uber is now looking to assist both drivers and passengers in situations where one or the other is either deaf or has a difficult time understanding spoken words. That's being accomplished through a web app that can be found by following the banner below and runs users through a set of short tutorials on how to use sign language. The project and its associated site are part of the company's support of Deaf Awareness Month and are intended to both help bring attention to the situation of millions worldwide who are deaf.
As to what users both behind the wheel and in the passenger's seat can expect to learn from the web app, there really isn't much there. As might be expected from a company that earns its revenue by being a ride-hailing service provider, the phrases are geared toward helping the driver and passenger have basic communication over the short period of time during which the rider and Uber employee will be interacting. Bearing that in mind, anybody taking advantage of the learning experience will learn how to introduce themselves by name, how to thank the driver, and how to offer directions in case they are needed. They will, of course, also learn to say goodbye, yes, and no.
Although those few phrases and words may not seem like much for the company to be offering up to help hard-of-hearing drivers and riders, it should be just enough to make the Uber ride-sharing experience much more pleasant. The company also isn't likely to make any kind of money directly from the project, making this an almost entirely altruistic effort on its part. With that said, an improved experience for people who are deaf for whatever reason, in combination with a bit of positive public relations most likely won't lose Uber any money either. Interestingly enough, as of this writing, Uber also appears to be the only company in the ride-sharing sector putting forward this kind of solution for drivers and riders alike. Positive PR is something Uber could certainly use at the moment, following several major setbacks from earlier this year.