Uber Technologies is reportedly working on an AI-based tech that can tell if you’re drunk before you get into one of its cars.
The measure seems counterintuitive as many inebriated people use the taxi-app firm’s services to safely get back home after a wild night out. Uber is safer than driving under influence and cheaper than a cab.
The company has reportedly applied for a patent for a piece of technology that would use machine learning to identify drunk customers. The document mentions “user state,” but the technology could tell passengers under influence from the sober ones.
CNN was the first news outlet to report on the patent. Sources told CNN that the AI will track unusual behavior on the passengers’ smartphones, based on their location, inaccuracies in data input, typing speed, the angle at which the smartphone is being held, and users’ walking speed.
Drunk Passengers Could Be Denied Service
The patent will enable the system to legally inform Uber drivers on a passenger’s drunk “state” in order to help them prepare for the bumpy ride. Uber reportedly wants to pair drunk passengers with Uber drivers that can handle them.
If there are no drivers with expertise in such matters available, the drunk passengers could be denied service.
Ironically, Uber is concerned about drunk passengers assaulting their drivers while it is turning a blind eye to the many cases of sexual assault by Uber drivers.
- In the United States, there were 103 instances of Uber drivers sexually assaulting or abusing riders between 2014 and 2018.
- Many of the victims were either drunk or had been drinking before calling an Uber.
A tech that can tell if a passenger is drunk could help drivers avoid dealing with customers that are out-of-control or start puking in their cars. Also, the new tech could curb predatory behavior coming from drivers.
Image Source: Flickr