If you have ever requested a Lyft or Uber ride in a big city, you have probably ran into some confusion finding your driver. There’s the awkward poke of the head in the window, the no-I-am-not-hailing-a-taxi wave, and the squint to peek at the license plate. I have definitely been on the same street when two separate black Toyota Camry were picking up passengers, and we both (almost) got into the wrong car.
Lyft is trying to fix all of that, by introducing a new emblem. A few years ago, when the company was just starting off, many drivers spotted a giant, furry, pink mustache attached to the grille of the car. Over the years, Lyft replaced that with “Glowstache,” a much more subtle emblem placed inside the windshield. Well, Lyft announced today that they are replacing that, with “The Amp.”
It’s essentially a gadget mounted to the dashboard magnetically, which can display all sorts of colors. The Amp will display a specific color when your driver is near, so you can easily spot your driver. You can also tap a button on the Lyft app to change the color of your phone’s screen, so it lights up your face with the same color. This is a cool two-way communications strategy, and the driver can spot passengers easier as well.
Uber actually tried something very similar way back in 2015, when they introduced SPOT in the Seattle area. The Uber SPOT (not a type of ride!) is a light strip that is attached to the windshield, which lights up with different colors to help passengers identify their drivers. The passengers actually get to pick the color with the Uber SPOT, and can opt to have their phones light up the same color as well. Uber did a trial run of the device in Seattle, but I haven’t heard anything about it since then.
Lyft seems more committed to their implementation, which the company says will be rolled out in cities across the US starting New Year’s Eve.
What do you think of the Amp?