Uber gives drunks the Bop It toy to keep drivers safe

Uber thinks that an electronic toy from the '90s could make its drivers safer. A pilot program in Charlotte, NC, is placing Bop It toys in the backseat of cars in hope the device entertains drunken customers, according to The Guardian.

If you didn't have the Bop It as a kid, the toy can be thought of as an electronic version of Simon Says. A voice tells players to twist, pull, or smack certain parts of the device, and the commands slowly speed up to make the game harder. Other than the noises possibly annoying drivers, this seems like a simple way to keep tipsy occupants calm.

An Uber spokesperson told Autoblog that the company has been running the experiment in Charlotte since November, and "people are positive about it." The business plans to continue testing for a while before deciding whether to use the toy in other cities.

"An intoxicated rider who is engaged in something interesting is less likely to be irritable and aiming aggression at the driver," said Joe Sullivan, Uber's chief security officer, said to The Guardian. The strategy could help prevent violent incidents like the video of a former Taco Bell executive assaulting a driver.

Uber also started pilot program in Seattle, WA, in November to experiment with keeping drivers safe, the company spokesperson told Autoblog. Some vehicles there now have a mirror for passengers to see themselves because psychological research indicates people are more likely to stay calm if they see their reflection. We think the toy sounds like a lot more fun.

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