Nevada (KTNV) — If you’re too drunk to drive, well you may also be to drunk to get into an Uber. The ridesharing giant wants to patent a system that can detect if you’ve had too much to drink even before you get in the backseat.
Uber driver Dave Carpenter knows the telltale signs of an intoxicated passenger.
“If someone like a bartender or a friend walks somebody up to a car, that’s a red flag you need to look at.”
He’s seen it way too many times.
“It happens daily. I mean our town we have a substance that goes on day and night.”
Over the years there have been numerous cases of passengers attacking Uber drivers and passengers accusing drivers of sexual assault.
Many of these cases involve intoxicated passengers. Uber’s solution — use technology to detect drunk people trying to get a ride.
“We’re responsible for their well-being. You don’t know if they were drugged if they had alcohol poisoning if they had a medical condition, a heart attack. We’re not trained for all that,” says Carpenter.
Uber’s algorithm will weigh a variety of factors from typos, how precisely a user clicks, walking speed and the time of day.
So a rider clumsily typing past midnight on a weekend is likely not sober.
Uber will then either warn drivers, match riders with drivers who have relevant training or deny the request for a ride.
13 Action News reached out to Uber but got no response. The idea remains to be a patent application and we don’t know if this would actually pop in our phones. But Dave Carpenter says it could be a game changer.
“It would be a hundred percent safer that what we’re doing now for us to have an idea of what we’re going into.”