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Uber files for patent to detect drunk passengers using AI

14 June 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.

In many of these cases, the passengers were inebriated or drinking before taking the cab.

The patent was initially filed in December 2016 to the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office.

Taxi app company Uber has applied for a patent to use artificial intelligence to determine how drunk potential passengers might be.

The technology will detect this based on a number of factors like the typing speed of the users, how precisely they click buttons, accuracy while entering details, walking speed, the angle at which the device is held or dropped and even the time and day of the booking.

It's still unclear if the information would then be passed on to drivers.

The application also notes that "when the likelihood is comparatively very high" that a rider is acting out of the ordinary, that rider may not be matched with any driver, or may only be matched with drivers "with experience or training with users having an unusual state".

"It would be cool if drivers got extra money for picking up drunk passengers".

While the patent can help them identify drunk riders and service them appropriately, it also gives the "bad drivers" a chance to misuse the system.

Uber does not have the best track record when it comes to collecting data.

Uber says this technology will make rides safer and that it will avoid "safety incidents and personal conflict incidents, [that] can occasionally occur when users and/or providers behave uncharacteristically".

In a statement, the company told KTVU the idea is in the early stages and that it has no immediate plans to implement the system.

"We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers", said Jodi Page, an Uber spokesperson.

Uber files for patent to detect drunk passengers using AI