Uber is trying to help you avoid that awkward moment when you into the wrong car.
The ride-sharing company will start testing a color-coded “Spot” lighting system that promises to “light your way to a smoother pickup.” As part of Spot, Uber cars in Seattle will start flashing a color LED light near the windshield that will match the color on your smartphone.
This is how it works: After you hail a ride on the Uber app, you will be asked to choose one of the six colors. When your ride arrives, the LED light will glow in that chosen color. Then you can press and hold the color on your smartphone to light up your screen so the driver can identify you as the correct pickup.
“When riders and drivers can easily find each other, we’re able to trim down wait times, which is a win for everyone,” the company posted on its news blog. Uber is hoping that Spot will be most helpful after crowded events, when a fleet of Uber rides are all requested to arrive at once. Previously, the only way you could identify your Uber ride is by looking at the car’s license plate number, which is shown on the Uber app after hailing a ride.
This is the second new feature Uber has added to its ride-sharing service this week. On Wednesday, the company announced an API update for iOS and Android developers to add an official “Uber Ride Request Button” on their apps. This request button can pull address data from the third-party app, so Uber will automatically know where you intend to go once you tap it.
Oscar writes about iOS, mobile culture and digital music. He also hosts 'The iPhone Show' from Macworld's San Francisco HQ.