Uber invented Beacon because not every Prius is your ride home

It’s happened to me a bunch of times. I’ll order an Uber (quite often in the early hours of the morning when I’m – what’s the euphemism, “tired and emotional”?) and stagger to the curb, only to jump in a random person’s car.

It’s not always my fault. I mean, not always. Given that Uber is an increasingly dominant mode of transportation, and most Uber cars in London are Priuses. It’s easy to get confused. Mercifully, Uber has seemingly figured out a fix to this everyday problem. It’s called Beacon.

This is a plastic widget that your driver affixes to his windscreen, and contains an LED strip and a bluetooth radio. After you book your ride, you’ll pick a color – blue, green, magenta, fuchsia, whathever. When it shows up, you’ll know which one is your car.

The tech is being trialled in five cities – Miami, Nashville, Denver, as well as Belfast, and Newcastle in the UK. Drivers will be invited to secret meetings where they’ll be provided with one of the devices, as well as charging equipment, free of charge. The devices will be gradually rolled out through 2017, and one Uber rep told The Verge that by the end of the year, the devices will be ubiquitous.

Meet Beacon, Uber’s colorful new gadget to help prevent those awkward car mixups on The Verge

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