Uber’s newest feature will make it so much easier to find your car
Uber is a life-saving app, whether you’re on vacation and decided to forego a rental car, need a ride home after a wild night, or are just lazy. But depending on where you’re getting picked up, it can be a real pain in the ass. On busy, crowded streets with dozens of seemingly identical cars in a gridlock, deciphering model and license plate number can be exceptionally difficult and may end up with you getting in the wrong car or completely missing your ride. If you find yourself constantly trapped in such situations, behold Uber’s latest feature to make finding your ride easier: Beacon.
After beta testing a similar device in Seattle last year, Uber introduced Beacon this week. Beacon is a light placed on the driver’s windshield that will glow a certain color to match what you select on the app. When you see a car with a light on its windshield that matches the light assigned to your driver, you’ll have found your ride.
While Spot, the previous model Uber tested in Seattle last year, was a mere strip of light attached to the driver’s windshield, Beacon is shaped like the Uber symbol, and is a wireless device that can last several days without needing a battery change. Beacon is also customizable in that, come the holiday season, Gay Pride, or any major event, its colors can mirror the celebration.
However, Beacon will initially only be available in a very limited number of regions. Before the end of 2016, it will be available only in Miami, Denver, Nashville, and Newcastle in the U.K., although Uber is slated to gradually release Beacon to more cities as 2017 unfolds.
The Uber app recently underwent some cosmetic changes in November, but Beacon is likely to become a favorite feature of the app (maybe second to the playlist feature) by cutting out the hugely stressful, inconvenient first step of having to locate your ride.
To really sell you on this feature, the company even produced this brief promotional video to give everyone a better feel for how it will work and really hype you up if you happen to live in one of the aforementioned cities Beacon will soon be available in.
As for Uber’s CEO Travis Kalanick, big things are ahead for him too, as he joins President-elect Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, likely to advise on tech and start-up matters.