Uber is brainstorming ways to use artificial intelligence from your smartphone to ascertain if you've been drinking, according to a patent application published Thursday.
Basically, the system will use AI to study characteristics of your usual behavior so that it can detect unusual behavior through how you would typically use the Uber app. The system relies on an algorithm to test and identify a variety of elements, including typos, how precisely a user clicks on links and buttons, walking speed and how long it takes a user to request a ride. Time of day and where the location is requested may also be considered to further determine the users state.
The drivers of the Ubers to intoxicated passengers may also be informed of the passengers conditions, and for riders that are in an extremely unusual state would match with a driver that is experienced and equipped to deal with such situations. Additionally, passengers might not have the option of a shared ride based on their state.
For drivers though, dealing with intoxicated passengers are a big annoyance at the job. “It would be cool if drivers got extra money for picking up drunk passengers. It’s not a big deal but it definitely gets old after about the 25th time,” said Harry Cambell, author of the RideShare Guy blog, told CNN.
On the contrary, other things can go wrong as well. A CNN investigation found that at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States who were accused of sexual assault or abusing their passengers. Along with that, many police reports and court documents involved passengers who were inebriated or drinking before getting into the Uber.
With these breakthroughs though, hopefully we can make it safer to drink responsibly.