Lighting the Way Toward Seamless Pickups with Uber Beacon

 

Whether you’ve just stepped off a flight, or heading home after work, we all want to find our Uber as quickly as possible. And for drivers—who may do dozens of trips a day—every minute counts. With millions of Uber rides happening every day in over 450 cities globally, we’re focused on creating a seamless pickup experience everywhere for riders and drivers alike.

In our new rider app announced last month, we often suggest the best possible pickup point. And while we’re continuing to explore more in-app improvements for the pickup experience, software is only a piece of the puzzle. Addressing this complex problem can also include hardware integrated into the Uber experience.

That’s why today, we’re excited to unveil Uber Beacon, a device that goes on a driver’s windshield and uses color-pairing technology to help drivers and riders more quickly connect at night, particularly at crowded venues. With this technology, riders can personalize their pickup by selecting from an endless number of colors for the Beacon to glow on their driver’s vehicle. And it’s instantly recognizable with the same design as the rider app icon.

Last year in Seattle, we pioneered this concept through our SPOT pilot, and found it reduced the need for riders and drivers to contact one another and lowered cancellation rates in historically tricky pickup locations. Based on this feedback, we’ve been exploring additional ways to use our color-pairing technology in hardware to improve both the rider and driver experience.

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.

Starting tomorrow, we’ll be rolling out Uber Beacon in select cities including Miami, Denver, Nashville and Newcastle (UK). We’ll be distributing devices to drivers at community events in the coming days to make sure on one of our busiest nights—New Year’s Eve—rides are as smooth as possible.  

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. Stay tuned for updates!

Featured articles

Uber for Business now makes it easy to give your customers a ride

We’re excited to expand the Uber for Business platform beyond business travel, to include a world-class customer transportation solution, Uber Central. With Uber Central, organizations of all shapes and sizes can now easily provide on-demand, door-to-door transportation for their customers, clients, and guests.

UberEATS: Using technology to build a reliable food delivery experience

A little over a year ago, we set out to put a new spin on an old classic–make reliable food delivery available at the tap of a button. Back then, we started by offering food in the UberEATS app from 1,000 pioneering restaurant partners in four cities. And today, more than 40,000 restaurants globally–from poke shops to pasta spots–are sharing food with customers through UberEATS. With a growing restaurant community comes more choices and more complexity. So we’re cooking up features to continue to make UberEATS easy and reliable. Here is a taste–

Let’s take care of each other

This flu season, we’re delivering free flu-fighting care packages across the country. When you receive a pack, you’ll have the option to request a free flu shot from a registered nurse–for up to 5 people.