BREAKING NEWS DA: 3 Chico women admit guilt, plead no contest to attempted arson of Chico State police car Full Story
STREAMING NOW: Watch Now

Uber wants to patent a way to use AI to identify drunk passengers

Uber may be able to tell when you've had a few too many drinks.The ridesharing giant has explored identifying ...

Posted: Jun 7, 2018 8:03 PM
Updated: Jun 7, 2018 8:03 PM

Uber may be able to tell when you've had a few too many drinks.

The ridesharing giant has explored identifying drunk passengers with artificial intelligence, according to a patent application published Thursday. With the technology, Uber could better tailor its ride options for customers.

The patent application describes a system that learns how you typically use the Uber app, so that it can identify unusual behavior. The system relies on an algorithm to weigh a variety of factors, including typos, how precisely a user clicks on links and buttons, walking speed, and how long it takes to request a ride. The time of day, and where a ride is requested may also be considered.

For example, it's a good bet that a person walking down a street at 1 a.m. Saturday in a nightlife district while clumsily typing probably isn't sober.

The patent also says that the service Uber provides to the user could change, as a result. Drivers may be warned of their passenger's state. And riders in an especially unusual state may only be matched with drivers with relevant experience or training, the patent application says.

Passengers also might not be given the option to partake in a shared ride, based on their state.

For Uber drivers, dealing with drunk passengers is a drawback of the job.

"It would be cool if drivers got extra money for picking up drunk passengers. It's not a big deal, but it definitely gets old after about the 25th time," Harry Campbell, author of The RideShare Guy blog, told CNN Money.

Related: 103 Uber drivers accused of sexual assault or abuse

Other things can go wrong too. A recent CNN investigation found at least 103 Uber drivers in the United States who have been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing their passengers in the past four years. Many of the police reports and court documents involved passengers who were inebriated or drinking before getting into an Uber.

The patent application's authors are current or former members of Uber's Trust & Safety team, which works to make the company's products safer.

Uber did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

CNN reporter Sara O'Brien contributed to this report.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 284012

Reported Deaths: 6573
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles1207643582
Riverside21101506
Orange18892369
San Diego17578399
San Bernardino15932272
Imperial7343121
Alameda6925140
Fresno692481
San Joaquin560058
Kern554384
Santa Clara5478165
Tulare5175139
Sacramento456676
Contra Costa409286
San Francisco402050
Ventura385850
Santa Barbara374230
San Mateo3692111
Marin298926
Stanislaus288945
Kings275537
Monterey223917
Solano182627
Merced162311
Sonoma146612
Placer93811
San Luis Obispo8082
Yolo72326
Madera7137
Santa Cruz5013
Napa4484
San Benito2922
Butte2753
Sutter2753
Lassen2670
El Dorado2640
Shasta1635
Humboldt1544
Nevada1511
Glenn1460
Yuba1392
Lake981
Tehama941
Mendocino920
Colusa860
Calaveras610
Del Norte581
Tuolumne570
Mono481
Amador340
Inyo341
Siskiyou320
Mariposa311
Plumas130
Alpine20
Trinity20
Sierra10
Unassigned00
Chico
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 97° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Oroville
Clear
96° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 96°
Paradise
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 90° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 93°
Chester
Clear
84° wxIcon
Hi: 79° Lo: 53°
Feels Like: 84°
Red Bluff
Clear
98° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 98°
Willows
Scattered Clouds
93° wxIcon
Hi: 100° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 93°
The seasonably hot weather continued today for northern California, but more heat and stronger breezes are coming our way through early next week.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events