The job of a taxi driver is one that has its fair share of ups and downs, on one hand you can control your own working ours which is great, on the other hand there’s drunk people, not so great.
In fact it’s the daunting task of ferrying drunk passengers at the end of their nights out that would probably forever put me off ever becoming a taxi driver.
For those who take on such a task, I have nothing but respect.
There’s obviously a fine line between being drunk and a little bit annoying and being so paralytic that it’s probably not safe for you or the taxi driver for you to hitch a ride.
Uber have decided to address that with an interesting piece of artificial intelligence that would have the capability to tell if a passenger is too drunk to travel.
The AI would reportedly spot ‘uncharacteristic user activity’ in passengers, through things like location, the number of typos entered into the app, walking speed and rather impressively, the angle at which the phone is actually being held and if it’s swaying.
Fear not though, Uber apparently isn’t planning on outright refusing those who’ve had too much to drink, instead they will tailor the service to the passenger.
That means it could direct you to a better pick-up point, or match you with a driver who has been specifically trained in dealing with that kind of passenger. It could also stop you opting into Uber Pool, the service’s ride share option, for fairly obvious reasons.
The patent-pending idea is still an idea that seems a distance away though, with the patent only being filed in 2016.
An Uber spokesperson said:
“We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers.
“We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features.”