Uber turns to A.I. to identify drunk riders

The ride-sharing company has applied for a patent for an AI system that could determine if users are showing ‘uncharacteristic behaviour

But a patent application from the ride-hailing giant reveals plans for a system that identifies intoxicated customers when they request a ride.

A rider's sobriety level will then result in the kind of ride they get.

The premise of the software is to use a learned algorithm to determine a user's state of inebriation. The system essentially monitors how the potential rider is using the app to identify erratic behavior.

"The model is trained to predict whether the user is acting uncharacteristically by analysing the submitted request as well as data collected about the user before and/or during the time the user submits the request", the patent states.

Uber claimed it will assess factors such as the angle you're holding your phone and how you're walking and interacting with the app compared to other times you've used it.

Uber said: "Such monitoring and trip feedback may indicate whether a user's state was unusual during the trip or when picked up by the provider".

However, experts fear it may allow drivers to undertake "drunk hunting".

Uber new scheme
Uber turns to A.I. to identify drunk riders

As such, and we're spit-balling ideas here, the driver could refuse to pick up a drunk passenger opting to go after teetotallers instead.

If there are no drivers with expertise in such matters available, the drunk passengers could be denied service.

It is not clear if the firm is working on this technology and MailOnline has contacted the company for comment.

That said, this is just a patent application, and the system will undoubtedly undergo plenty of checks before it is rolled out to the drivers.

The applications are both called "Virtual Reality Experience For a Vehicle" and were filed in 2016.

The VR system that Uber is trying to patent creates an environment that is somewhat synced with the self-driving car's motions, the patent suggests.

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