Drunk passengers have become enough of a headache for Uber that the company is taking serious action to address the issue. Serious action in this case, is providing a toy from the 90s in Uber cars to give inebriated passengers something to do other than harass or assault their drivers. As an experiment, the ride-sharing service has been putting Bop It interactive toys into cars to distract the possible offenders.
Youtube is full of videos showing belligerent customers abusing their chauffeurs in ways ranging from yelling, cussing, to outright violence. One such case made headlines last fall when a Taco Bell executive attacked his Uber driver, punching and slamming his head against the steering wheel. He then went on to sue the driver but that is an entirely different mess. Many drivers have taken to the internet drawing attention to a situation that has been rapidly expanding and making drivers weary of certain areas and types of customers.
The Bop It toy, a 90’s staple, is basically a Simon Says knock-off that has buttons, cranks and knobs, that must be manipulated in the sequence dictated by a recorded voice emanating from the toy. Uber is hoping that most drunks are piling into vehicles just need something to channel their aggression and energy into, and a plastic toy barking commands while mocking their motor skills is enough to keep them enthralled until they reach their destination and stammer out of the vehicle.
“An intoxicated rider who is engaged in something interesting is less likely to be irritable and aiming aggression at the driver,” – Joe Sullivan, Uber’s Chief Security Officer
The experiment is being conducted in Charlotte, North Carolina, for the time being while the results are being studied. Uber definitely needs to keep its drivers safe and happy so let’s hope the incessant sound of a Bop It is preferred to the vexatious and possibly violent venting of customers lacking in self control when it comes to hitting the bottle.
I for one, would play the hell out of this thing. Sober or otherwise.[button link=”http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/jan/26/drunk-uber-riders-assault-drivers-bop-it” icon=”fa-external-link” side=”left” target=”blank” color=”285b5e” textcolor=”ffffff”]Source: The Guradian[/button]