TomTom AmiGO launches a special mode for deaf drivers
Today, on Global Accessibility Awareness Day, TomTom is rolling out a new feature in its free navigation app designed to make navigating while driving a whole lot easier for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The feature, called “Enhanced Visual Cues,” has been available in beta for some months now, but is now finally available in AmiGO’s full public release, starting from today (May 19). It will be integrated into version 8.384.0, on both Android and iOS.
AmiGO’s developers say the update is being rolled out globally, so everyone with the app will be able to use this feature when updated to the above version.
It’s designed to make navigating while driving a whole lot easier for those who are hard of hearing or deaf. It works by using large visuals on screen to alert the driver of upcoming instructions and turnings.
In AmiGO, there are Enhanced Visual Cues, for turnings and arrival alerts.
How to enable the feature
Users can enable the feature in two ways.
When drivers “mute” their audio instructions they’ll see a pop-up encouraging them to try the feature — it can be enabled directly here. Alternatively, users can go to “settings” and scroll down to “Enhanced Visual Cues” and enable it from there. Check out the below gif on how to do this.
After drivers enable the Enhanced Visual Cues, they’ll see some changes to direction and navigation instructions. They’ll also see warnings for speed cameras.
These warnings and alerts, rather than being audible, flash up on the screen to get the driver’s attention. They clearly direct the driver which direction the next turn is. It’s designed to capture just enough attention to support a deaf driver, but not so much that it becomes distracting.
When you enable the Enhanced Visual Cues, you’ll lose the audio instructions, but will gain easy-to-read visual guides, as you can see above.
If you want to learn more about how the new AmiGO feature came to be and how it works, read this interview with the engineer that started it all.
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