Uber is giving its customers a guiding light. The popular ride-hailing company is rolling out LED light strips on drivers’ windshields to help riders in Seattle identify their pickups.
The bright, new initiative, simply called SPOT, aims to reduce wait times and to make it easier for customers to find their Ubers in dense traffic and in the dark. Announced earlier this week, the feature rolls out throughout this month in the Emerald City on a test basis, with the company already equipping an undisclosed number of drivers there with the innovative devices.
How it works: Directly applied to windshields, the long, skinny light strips glow in multiple colors (blue, green, orange, pink, purple or yellow). When a rider requests a trip and is paired with a SPOT-enabled driver, she can select the color the driver’s light strip will display using a color wheel within the Uber app. When the driver arrives for pickup, the light strip glows in the selected color. Conversely, riders can hold up their phones to display the matching light strip color to quickly show their drivers where they are.
Uber, repeatedly plagued by customer complaints about surge pricing and drivers’ bad behavior, frames SPOT as its latest “experiment” in its “ongoing effort to make Uber pickups as seamless as possible.” But is it bright enough to shine some positive light on the controversial company?