Uber makes it easier to connect with drivers with live location sharing & expanded beacon rollout

If you’ve ever experienced problems meeting up with your Uber driver, the company has today announced a couple of initiatives designed to make it easier …

First, the company is expanding its beacon program. First launched in Seattle last year, the app allows you to choose a color to display on your iPhone screen. Hold that up to make it easier for the driver to spot you, while looking out for the same color in the car’s windscreen.

Uber says it is now rolling out beacons to Chicago, New York and San Francisco.

Second, you can now choose to display your live location to the driver, useful if you’ve been unable to find each other at the planned pickup spot.

When you’re at the mall, airports, and other busy locations, it can be challenging for you and your driver to find one another. With live location sharing, your driver can see where you’re located in relation to your pickup spot. That way, your driver knows you’re right there – or walking around the corner – to meet them. To turn on “live location” tap the grey icon in the bottom right corner of your screen. When your icon is blue, you’re sharing your location. You can change this at any time by tapping the icon on your map, or going to your privacy settings in app.

This would certainly have been useful during a recent trip to Hong Kong, where I eventually gave up on Uber in favor of local taxies after drivers on three occasions failed to actually go to the correct pickup point.

Uber has also made it easier to request a ride for someone else, and adding in-app gifting, allowing you to send Uber credit to a friend or family member.

Uber last month launched a new credit card, with ride-hailing perks, phone insurance and more.

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