Very few of us who use ride-sharing services like Uber or Taxify can say that we’ve never requested a ride whilst wholly and entirely inebriated. In fact, people not wanting to drink, drive, and come across the police is probably a major contributor to these services’ bottom lines. So major, presumably, that Uber may be developing a way to let them know when riders are drnuk diallinngh.
That’s right. Uber recently filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for a system (yes, it’s an AI) which will allow them to detect “user state” by analysing things such as:
- From where and what time the rider is making their request
- How fast the rider is walking, and in what direction
- How fast / slow the rider is typing, and how accurate their data input is
- The angle at which the rider is holding their phone
The system will compare the above to the usual (read: sober) behaviour of the rider, and determine whether they are in an unusual state of mind. If the system determines that the rider is indeed in an unusual state, then it could have several responses ranging from trying to pair the rider with experienced or specially skilled drivers, to denying the request.
Now, the patent of course studiously avoids mentioning that this system is perfectly suited for assessing sobriety, but it sure looks like a breathalyzer…