Uber is working on AI to identify drunk passengers

Lloyd Doyle
June 12, 2018

Uber has partnered with organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving to encourage more people to call the service than to get behind the wheel after drinking too much. The system relies on an algorithm to weigh a variety of factors, including typos, how precise a user clicks on links and buttons, the speed at which the user is walking, and how long it takes to request a ride.

Uber is working on technology that could determine just how drunk passengers are when ordering a ride. The filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office said technology may be used to match possibly intoxicated riders with drivers with training to deal with such circumstances.

Uber will also potentially modify "pickup or drop-off locations to areas that are well lit and easy to access" when it has determined the user's state is "unusual". According to CNN, Uber Technology Inc. filed a patent for a machine learning application that could accurately predict a user's state of sobriety and alert the driver with this information.


Passengers also might not be given the option to partake in a shared ride, based on their state.

But, of course, notifying a driver beforehand could set a few liabilities in motion: Like, as The Verge hypothesizes, motivating a driver to decline picking up Sloshy McSlosherson, which, to the wasted, could be code for, "You're too drunk, drive home instead". A recent CNN investigation found at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States who have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years.

The patent application's authors are current or former members of Uber's Trust & Safety team, which works to make the company's products safer.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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