Uber wants to pacify drunk passengers with a kids’ toy – The Verge
Most Uber rides come and go without any serious altercations between drivers and their unknown passengers. However, there always exists the chance that a driver will pick up an aggressive, potentially violent drunk person. Without a protective barrier between the driver and the passenger, similar to taxis’, drivers are left vulnerable and in close quarters. Assault is a huge risk and one that most drivers would prefer not to have. To address it, Uber alreadyÂ has a passenger rating system, but is now alsoÂ reportedly running a test in Charlotte, North Carolina, that consists of putting a children’s toy in drivers’ backseats. The toy, a Bop It, distracts drunk riders and, ideally, stops them from assaulting their DDs.
You remember Bop It, right? It debuted in the ’90s, and was itself a welcomed tool for parents looking to distract hyperactive children. Players hear a beat that’s then accompanied by a voice telling them various commands, like bop it, twist it, and pull it. Whoever is holding the toy has to do those commands before time runs out. Hereâ€™s a commercial to jog your memory:
The car service directlyÂ markets itself to intoxicated passengers. It partnered with Mothers Against Drunk Driving to study how these apps can counter drunk driving; one study found that Uber rides peaked in Miami at the exact time that historically had the most drunk driving accidents. Ride requests in Pittsburgh also reached a high when the city’s bars closed.
Uber hasnâ€™t said whether its Bop It experiment has been successful, but we all know drunk people are really just adult babies, so it will likely at least be a slight distraction. That being said, if Bop It doesn’t work, how about Simon? Or a Rubik’s Cube?