Drunk Uber passengers will be distracted with toys and mirrors, as part of a pilot program that might be implemented nationwide if it proves successful.
The strategy will first be tested in Charlotte, North Carolina, and will consist in giving Uber riders that appear to be inebriated Bop It toys to play with throughout the fare.
The hugely popular playthings, which are manufactured by Hasbro, are considered to be extremely addictive and engrossing. They are based on an audio game whose difficulty keeps increasing with every completed level.
Players have to follow a set of commands that are broadcast via the toy’s speakers: they may be asked to pull a handle, to rotate a wheel, to twist a lever or to flick a switch, all of these components being part of the intricate contraption.
Supposedly, the game boosts alertness, by challenging the player to show as much eye-hand coordination as possible.
That skill may be exactly what drunk Uber passengers will lack, but precisely for this reason Bop It appears like a safe bet when it comes to making sure that riders stay busy without turning aggressive or overly familiar with the driver.
Another strategy that is being implemented in order to tackle the increasingly more vexing problem represented by inebriated Uber customers consists in setting up mirrors at the rear of the vehicle’s front seats.
Supposedly, if the passengers can gaze at themselves during the trip, it will make them more self-conscious and less likely to indulge in rowdy or violent behavior.
At the same time, Uber officials have also been taking steps in order to boost the passengers’ security, in another initiative known as “Curb your enthusiasm”.
Given that some of the drivers affiliated with this ride-hailing service want to boost their profits by driving recklessly in order to fulfill as many requests from clients as possible, the company will be monitoring fares much more carefully than before.
By accessing data provided by gyrometers, accelometers and GPS incorporated in smartphones, it will be possible to determine if the driver broke the speed limit, if he or she used the car brakes too suddenly or abruptly, or if overall there was little concern for the passenger’s comfort or safety.
This way, if a customer complains that a fare was completely unpleasant or even dangerous it will be much easier to investigate the situation, and test the accuracy of that negative feedback.
Hopefully, these measures will prove of assistance to passengers and drivers likewise, especially now that Uber has become a fixture of modern-day transport.
At the moment, the San Francisco-based company has operations in 300 cities, from 58 nations, and its market valuation has already reached $62.5 billion.
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