Technology

Uber submits patent to detect drunken app users

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Uber has submitted a patent to add a feature to its app that will help identify drunken riders so drivers could better assist them.

The new feature, at least in theory, would allow the popular ride-sharing service to measure a potential rider's walking speed, data input speed and accuracy, and the angle at which one's device is being held.

Drivers may receive a notification that the person requesting the ride could be intoxicated, which also could result in more experienced drivers being routed to help riders who could present a problem for someone less experienced.

Uber has partnered with organizations including Mothers Against Drunk Driving to encourage more people to call the service than to get behind the wheel after drinking too much.

In 2014, a survey conducted by Benenson Strategy Group found that 78 percent of people said that since Uber launched in their city, their friends are less likely to drive after drinking.

It's still too early to tell how this new feature would be implemented, or the eventuality of adding it to its current services, an Uber spokesperson told ABC News.

"We are always exploring ways that our technology can help improve the Uber experience for riders and drivers," the spokesperson said. "We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features."

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