When you’re stranded, your car is broken down, or you’re just too lazy to drive, Uber is there for you. Especially when you’re consciously aware you are not in the correct state of mind to drive. Uber has consistently saved intoxicated party-goers from making the stupid decision to drive drunkenly. However, now the app has developed a patent to use your phone’s technology to monitor and predict when you’re drunk.
While somewhat creepy, Uber has good intentions with this development. They’ll be watching how you hold your phone, they’ll monitor typos, and ultimately use machine-driven learning to help the app tell if you are in an altered state of mind.
The pros? For starters, it could inform drivers ahead of time they’re about to deal with a rowdy crowd. The app may alter the pickup location to a well-lit, safe area so the users do not have to traverse far in order to get their ride. Additionally, if Uber can know when you’re intoxicated, it might be able to pair you with a driver who has experience or abilities in caring for riders in altered states of mind.
The cons? First and foremost, Uber is going to be storing data on when you’re drunk, which, if leaked, is a huge privacy scandal waiting to happen. Drivers might start to avoid picking up drunken customers, leaving them stranded longer, or worse, causing them to drive home themselves. Instead of reducing risks, there’s a huge potential for this patent to add to the danger of the ride-share community.