Thursday, 21 June, 2018

Uber wants to know how drunk its passengers are

Uber wants a patent on tech to help guess if a rider is drunk Uber wants to know how drunk its passengers are
Ginger Lawrence | 14 June, 2018, 09:07

- Too drunk.to get into an Uber? And they worry that the technology could deter riders who are actually drunk from using the service - and risk getting behind the wheel.

Uber's patent application, which was initially filed in December 2016, says that when riders request a auto, the system collects information about the rider's activity and includes that data in the ride request.

But critics said it could also be used to identify vulnerable passengers.

In theory, the system could generate an alert to drivers or match suspected drunk passengers only with specially trained drivers. This can then be matched with the user's location and the time - near a nightclub and in the early hours, for example.

It could help drivers who do not want to pick up inebriated riders.

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While Uber is attempting to rehabilitate its public image, users may be wary of an algorithm that can tell how many cocktails they've downed on a night out. "Similarly, when the likelihood is comparatively low (but not non-zero), the system may match the provider normally and provide a notification to the matched provider of the possible state".

"My big, serious concern is it seems to be there are a whole host of other conditions that might come across as if a person were intoxicated when they weren't at all, and might need an Uber because they're physically handicapped", Simpson said.

The app used to summon rides could also feed other information to the driver, including a passenger's location, how accurately they are typing and even the angle they are holding their phone at.

The latest AI technology from Uber will be able to detect whether or not a customer ordering a ride is drunk, although it is unclear what the success rate of this new technology will be. Some privacy experts question whether the information gathered could end up being stored to track health and lifestyle choices of Uber customers.