One year after testing color-coded rider pickups in Seattle through a system called "SPOT," Uber today announced that the initiative is now called "Uber Beacon," and beginning December 16 it will expand to Miami, Denver, Nashville, and Newcastle in the United Kingdom. Uber Beacon is a piece of hardware that attaches to a driver's windshield and "uses color-pairing technology" to match up drivers with their riders.
In the Uber app, riders will be able to select from an endless amount of color options when calling for a ride. As their driver gets to the pickup destination, the Uber Beacon in the windshield will match the color the rider picked, making it easy to find a ride at night and at crowded venues. The new hardware has also been designed to match Uber's rider app logo.
On the rider side of things, users can hold up their smartphone to display their unique color and make it quicker for the driver to find and pick them up.
Uber said the Beacon itself can be installed easily, removed in seconds, and lasts for "several evenings without charge."
Enter Uber Beacon, designed for simplicity and scalability. Drivers can install it themselves within minutes and then remove it in seconds. And with a powerful battery and Bluetooth connection to our driver app, it can last several evenings without charge, while keeping the dashboard cable-free. And our technology also allows for customized color palettes and animation styles to celebrate events and holidays —imagine Beacon pulsing St. Patrick’s Day green or colorful rainbows all weekend for Pride.
Uber drivers in Miami, Denver, Nashville, and Newcastle will begin receiving Uber Beacons at community events in preparation for New Year's Eve celebrations within each city. Riders wanting the helpful system to make it to their city have some hope, with the company noting: "Our goal is to make Beacons the new standard for the Uber experience, so in 2017 we’ll be expanding Uber Beacon to more cities across the world."