Uber files patent to identify drunk passengers

Artificial Intelligence may sense if a person is under the influence

(CNN) – Uber may be able to tell when you’ve had one too many drinks.

According to a patent application published just last week.  The ridesharing giant has explored identifying drunk passengers with artificial intelligence or AI.  With the new AI technology, Uber says drivers could make better ride decisions for customers.

The patent application describes a system that learns how you typically use the Uber app, so that it can identify unusual behavior. The system relies on an algorithm to weigh a variety of factors, including typos, how precisely a user clicks on links and buttons, walking speed, and how long it takes to request a ride.

The time of day, and where a ride is requested may also be considered.

For example – Theoretically it could sense is a person is walking down a busy street at 2 a.m. on Saturday in a nightlife district and clumsily typing likely isn’t sober.

What’s important to point out is, the patent filed states that “the service Uber provides to the user could change, as a result.”

Drivers may be warned of their passenger’s state. And riders in an especially unusual state may only be matched with drivers with relevant experience or training, the patent application says.

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

For Uber drivers, dealing with drunk passengers is a drawback of 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,” Harry Campbell, author of The RideShare Guy blog, told CNN Money.

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.

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