Your next Uber driver may be hearing-impaired

It matters and it doesn't.


( The name Ludwig van Beethoven should ring a bell, whether you're a fan of classical music or were just one of those people who took up piano as a kid. One amazing fact you might already know about the renowned composer was that he was also going deaf while composing his most famous works. And yet, his physical infirmity never hindered him from greatness.




The musical genius is the inspiration behind Uber's latest update in its online transportation application—the "Beethoven." This feature alerts a hearing-impaired Uber driver of a new ride through flashing lights instead of the existing audio notification. In addition, it also notifies the rider that the booked driver is hearing-impaired and turns off the call option.


Beethoven was first launched in May 2015 in Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. It was part of Uber’s application update in the Philippines in September but was introduced to the media only on October 13. With this exposure, it is with hope that more hearing-impaired drivers will work with Uber. This is not only an opportunity for physically challenged drivers to earn income, but also a chance to advocate anti-discrimination, especially in employment.

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"This program reinforces Uber's global commitment to provide every member of society a viable way to earn a living by driving," Uber Philippines General Manager Laurence Cua told reporters.

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