Ride-sharing company Uber is exploring ways to identify drunk passengers, with an eye on protecting drivers from unruly customers, CNN reported June 7.

Uber recently filed a patent for artificial intelligence technology that can detect combinations of behaviours possible associated with intoxication, such as excessive typos when using the Uber app, time of day, distance walked and how long it takes to call for a ride.

In theory, the system could generate an alert to drivers or match suspected drunk passengers only with specially trained drivers. Drunk passengers could also be denied the opportunity to share an Uber with strangers.

Police reports indicate that many passengers involved in altercations with Uber drivers were under the influence of alcohol.

“It would be cool if drivers got extra money for picking up drunk passengers. It’s not a big deal, but it definitely gets old after about the 25th time,” said Harry Campbell, author of The RideShare Guy blog.

The technology in the patent application was developed by current and former members of Uber’s Trust & Safety team.