Uber may screen customers for potential drunkenness, based on how they type, walk and hold their phone.
The app-based taxi company has applied for a patent which plans to use artificial intelligence to determine how drunk passengers requesting rides might be.
Drivers who do not want to pick up intoxicated customers would be able to monitor everything from their potential passenger's location toÂ how accurately they are typing and even the angle they are holding their phone at.
Security and safety concerns
Critics warn that the technology could make it easier for drivers to prey on vulnerable people. However, Uber maintains that the idea is still in its early stages.
As a company, Uber do not have the best reputation when it comes to security and safety (Photo: Shutterstock)
"We file patent applications on many ideas, but not all of them actually become products or features," the company said in a statement.
A bad track record
This is not the first time Uber's attitude towards customer safety and security has been called into question. In 2014, it came to light that the company used software called God View to monitor real-time locations of customers and drivers.
The organisation then pledged to tighten security protocol following a data breach that exposed personal information about more than 100,000 Uber drivers.
In June 2017, co-founder Travis Kalanick resigned over allegations of sexual harassment at work, andÂ CNN recently reported that more than 100 Uber drivers in the USA had been accused of sexually assaulting or abusing passengers in the past four years.