Uber: new software can tell if you’re drunk

Uber turns to A.I. to identify drunk riders

The patent application describes a system that learns how you typically use the Uber app, so that it can identify unusual behavior.

The user's current state is also determined by this system based on how they handle their smartphone.

According to the patent, the algorithm would be able to look out for the user making typos, not precisely clicking on links and buttons, the way they are holding their phone, their walking speed and how long it takes to request a ride.
And you'd imagine that any driver agreeing to pick up passengers at these times is already well-aware of what to expect.

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At least that's according to a patent application spotted by CNN with the title "predicting user state using machine learning".

But that may soon change, as Uber has filed a patent for technology that can detect if its users are drunk while using the app. A majority of the cases involved Uber drivers allegedly exploiting drunk young women who were trying to get home after a night out.

Still, it is not hard to imagine that a driver with a new, shiny, upholstered vehicle might think twice about picking up a passenger they know to be sloshed. Uber reportedly wants to pair drunk passengers with Uber drivers that can handle them.

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

Uber's patents said that the company's VR system will address this issue.

It is unclear how riders will access Uber's VR system - whether or not they will have to don a used headset is unknown. And riders in an especially unusual state may only be matched with drivers with relevant experience or training, the patent application says.

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The concern is that people deemed excessively drunk might be refused service from Uber, which could lead to them trying to drive home themselves or getting into other unsafe situations.

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