Generic photo of men drinking beer. Picture: Supplied
Generic photo of men drinking beer. Picture: Supplied

The surprising thing Uber will soon know about you

UBER will soon be able to figure out if a customer is drunk - even before they climb into one of their rides.

By monitoring how they use their phone, the angle it is being held, how the customer is walking - and especially if the ride is being ordered up from a bar or pub at 2am - the ride-hailing company can figure out if a drunk customer is looking for a lift, the company said in a patent application.


According in the New York Post, the application, "Predicting user state using machine learning," is how Uber detailed the promised technology. Drivers presumably will be fed this information while en route to the pick-up.

It is not known if the info will be used to deter drivers from picking up such passengers in order to sidestep potential trouble. The filing with the US Patent and Trademark Office said technology may be used to match possibly intoxicated riders with drivers with training to deal with such circumstances.

Uber driverAP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)
Uber driverAP Photo/Jennifer Sinco Kelleher)

The behaviour of the person ordering the ride will be compared to their "normal" behaviour - that is, it will be compared to long-term use patterns.

Earlier this year the ride-sharing company announced it was teaming up with start-up Cargo, which would a provide Uber customers in the US with a range of goods to purchase while riding.

The items for sale will include food products such as Pringles and chocolate, as well as iPhone charging cords and even free snacks for passengers.

The product sales would also help boost a driver's income by an average of $100 a month, as they will receive a 25 per cent commission on the sales.

The service is yet to be announced in Australia.

This story first appeared in the New York Post.