“This idea works on so many levels. This experience not only created a demand for people to test themselves to see if they are over the legal limit for driving, but also then provided them with a way to get home.” —juror Mark Renshaw
“Simple interactive design saving lives. That’s a win.” —juror Drew Ungvarsky
Overview: At night, alcohol-related driving accidents increase by 350 percent. So Uber developed Uber Safe, a breathalyzer kiosk that brings the Uber app into a curbside installation on the street. The custom-built kiosk helps guide users to hail a driver for a ride home if their blood alcohol level surpasses the legal limit, which is determined simply by blowing into a disposable straw.
•The kiosks were rolled out in Toronto on the most dangerous night of the year—St. Patrick’s Day, when drunk driving nearly triples.
•The Uber Safe initiative has generated more than 55 million free impressions online.
•Kiosk locations have expanded across Canada and the United States.
Comments by Rethink:
What was the purpose of the project? “What if we could find a simple way to stop drunk drivers in their tracks by giving people a convenient and safe alternative? Uber provides a reliable option for getting home after a night of drinking. We wanted to demonstrate this safe alternative for Uber’s core mid-20s market just as they were heading out from bars and nightclubs, intoxicated.”
What are the project’s core features? “We designed and custom-built wireless kiosks embedded with an MQ3 alcohol sensor and an Android tablet connected to Uber’s API. When a drinker grabs
a disposable straw and blows, the app calculates his or her blood alcohol content. If it’s over the legal limit for driving, the app hails a driver to that location within minutes, ensuring you receive a free and safe ride home.”
What has the response been? “The idea has been covered by major media outlets worldwide and has created an outpouring of positive sentiment for a brand that, more often than not, receives negative press. Uber Safe has been so successful, kiosks are being installed across the globe on popular drinking occasions, when the risk of drinking and driving is at its peak.”