Uber Could Deny Rides To Drunk Passengers By Using A Prediction Algorithm
If you have been in an accident as an Uber passenger or drive, do not hesitate to speak to our lawyers at the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Get a free consultation by calling at 619.956.9555 or fill out this contact form.
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Uber Could Deny Rides To Drunk Passengers By Using A Prediction Algorithm

Posted By The Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Posted in: Rideshare Accident.

17-August-2018

If you are drunk, common sense tells you to not get behind the wheel of your car, and, instead, request an Uber ride using your phone. But imagine being denied a ride because you are too drunk before you even get the chance to meet your driver or say a single word.

Yep, Uber is trying to create a system that uses machine learning to predict how drunk Uber passengers are. And it makes sense why. A drunk passenger can be a huge headache for an Uber driver:

  • Drunk passengers are more likely to be aggressive or behave erratically in the car;
  • Drunk passengers usually fall asleep in the car, and it is sometimes impossible to wake them up; and
  • Overly intoxicated passengers can even throw up in an Uber driver’s vehicle.

“Neither of these things are fun for Uber drivers,” explains our Chula Vista ridesharing accident attorney at the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. “In fact, by riding in an Uber, a drunk passenger also puts himself or herself at risk of some bad stuff happening to them. This is especially true for female passengers, as multiple Uber drivers have been accused of taking advantage of their female passengers’ state to sexually assault them.”

Uber to not let drunk people use its app

Uber, for its part, would be thrilled if these lawsuits filed by and against drunk passengers were gone forever. Bad publicity is something Uber wants to avoid, which is why preventing drunk passengers from requesting rides with Uber would be a godsend.

That is why the company is gravitating toward a potential solution: Just do not let overly intoxicated people use Uber. The company is working on a system that uses machine learning to predict how drunk Uber passengers are, according to Futurism.

In order to make its prediction, the system does not need to smell alcohol on your breath neither does it need to hear you slurring speech. Instead, the system focuses on the following factors to determine how drunk you are:

  • The accuracy and speed of filling out their information when requesting a ride;
  • The angle at which you are holding your phone;
  • The speed at which you are walking;
  • Your location (are you currently at a bar, restaurant or nightclub?);
  • The time of day and day of the week.

Based on this algorithm, the system is capable of predicting an Uber passenger’s state, because it compares this info to your prior history with Uber. If you usually make lots of typos every time you request a ride through an Uber app, it would not be a sign that you are drunk. Requesting a ride on a Friday or Saturday night with lots of typos, on the other hand, is a red flag for Uber drivers.

Will drunk passengers be denied Uber rides?

However, in no way does it mean that once, and if, Uber equips its app with this prediction algorithm, you will not be able to get home if you are drunk. The company expected to adjust how its drivers want to respond to ride requests from drunk passengers:

  • Simply let the driver know that the passenger requesting a ride is possibly drunk;
  • Only show ride requests from drunk persons to drivers with prior experience transporting intoxicated passengers;
  • Automatically change the pick-up and/or drop-off location to somewhere more easily accessible;
  • Automatically deny the drunk passenger a ride.

“Meaning: if the system predicts that you are drunk, the likelihood that you, as a passenger, will not be matched with any Uber driver is very high,” explains our Chula Vista ridesharing accident attorney.

Could the prediction algorithm reduce the number of Uber and ridesharing accidents and incidents in San Diego and elsewhere in California? It could, but only time will tell. If you have been in an accident as an Uber passenger or drive, do not hesitate to speak to our lawyers at the Law Offices of Eugene G. Bruno, P.C. Get a free consultation by calling at 619-956-9555 or fill out this contact form.

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