Cognate's Trademark Blog

Uber File Patent To Identify Drunk Callers

They’ve spent years persuading people to catch cabs when they are drunk. Now Uber have filed a patent for a piece of tech to analyse whether people are drunk so they don’t pick them up !


No need for commentary on that one .. except  that it sounds like another step toward dystopia. Jump a few steps ahead on this one and we’d suggest there might be some discrimination cases ahead in the courts.

The Street reports…

Intoxicated Uber customers may soon find out that they’re too drunk to call for a car.

Uber Technologies Inc. filed a patent application in 2016 for a new technology that uses artificial intelligence to detect when riders are intoxicated before they request a car, a document released by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office showed. The technology would compare a how users typically interact with the app to be able to detect when they’ve had something to drink, and prevent them from requesting a ride.

“We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers,” Uber spokesperson Jodi Page told the Washington Post. “We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features.”‘

The new feature would aim to “[identify] uncharacteristic user activity and may take an action to reduce undesired consequences of uncharacteristic user states,” according to the filing.

With the new technology, the app will monitor how users hold their phone, how fast they are walking, how many typos they make and how long it takes them to process information among other factors to detect what the patent filing calls “uncharacteristic user activity.”

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