If you’ve ever called an Uber on a crowded street, during a huge event, or when you’re in no state to drive, you know the struggle of being unable to locate your driver.
In a world where other passengers steal your Uber and drivers leave their customers stranded after a late club night, a change is coming that just might make a difference.
The ridesharing company recently launched Uber Beacon in Toronto, a brand new system that’s designed to help drivers and passengers find one another.
Uber Beacon is essentially a device that lights up on an Uber driver’s car and on a passenger’s phone in the same colour, using colour-pairing technology via Bluetooth.
It’s designed to be big, bright, and visible, especially at night and during busy hours.
“Some drivers will now have a digital icon drivers place on their dashboard so riders can easily locate them,” reads Uber’s website.
“Riders choose a color in-app and the Beacon changes to match.”
When a driver has a Beacon, you’ll see it on their dashboard. It’s in the same shape as the Uber app logo.
You’ll know if a driver has a Beacon when you see a notification at the bottom of the app that says “Tap to set a Beacon Color.”
What happens next?
“Tap on Uber logo in the lower right hand corner of the screen to go to the color selector,” reads the website.
“Drag the slider to choose a color to display in your driver’s window. You can then either hold up your phone so your driver can identify you, or you can tap the “x” in the lower corner of the screen to return to the map display. You can change the color of the Uber Beacon any time by going back to the color selector.”
Uber actually piloted Beacon at the end of 2016 in Miami, Denver, Nashville and Newcastle in the U.K.
Beacon is now available in Toronto, as part of the company’s Moving Forward strategy. The entire strategy aims to improve pickups and safety, and provide better quality rides.
Also in the works as part of the strategy are a new Spotlight technology that lights up your phone so your driver can find you, live location sharing so your driver can pinpoint where you are, and even on-time guaranteed pickups.
As for Beacon, hopefully it’ll make life easier for drivers and passengers who are struggling to find each other on a busy Toronto street.
What do you think of Beacon?