Uber Is Trying to Find Out When You’ve Had One Too Many

June 11, 2018, 2:43 PM UTC

Uber has developed a technology that could identify when you’ve had one too many.

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) last week published an Uber patent application that describes a technology that uses artificial intelligence to determine when you’re drunk. The technology in the patent application could possibly tell drivers when you’re drunk and could stop you from being able to take a shared ride, according to CNN, which earlier reported on the patent application.

In order to determine you’re drunk, the patent application describes how the Uber app can analyze how you walk, your ability to tap buttons, and more, to determine your state. If that’s off from what your normal state is, Uber’s app guesses you’re drunk and adapts accordingly.

The patent doesn’t discuss monitoring your activity at all times, but does say that it could see how you’re interacting with the Uber app itself and then compare that to your interaction with the app when you’re drunk.

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Of course, Uber’s technology could go a long way in improving ride safety. A drunk passenger, depending on his or her state, could pose a risk to the drivers and other riders. The person could also pose a threat depending on his or her actions while drunk.

On the other hand, Uber could face some backlash from privacy advocates and others who might not like the idea of the company analyzing their behavior and using artificial intelligence to guess at their state. If the app is wrong, after all, and the rider needs a car but isn’t allowed access, that could be a problem.

But before we get too far ahead of ourselves and look for the feature in Uber’s app, it’s important to note that like all big companies, Uber files for patents all the time. While in some cases, those technologies are made public, in many others, they never find their ways to apps or services. It’s possible this feature meets the same fate.

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