- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 3, 2015

Uber has already helped illuminate the world as to what ride-hailing services and smartphone start-ups are capable of accomplishing, but the company’s latest endeavor attempts to light the way, literally.

As of Tuesday this week, select Uber drivers in the Seattle, Washington area have been able to outfit their automobiles with a windshield-mounted light-up device that aims to help passengers identify their cars through color.

“We know riders and drivers sometimes have difficulty finding each other, especially when it’s crowded or dark outside,” Uber said in a statement. Having already tackled other issues during its rise in ride-booking dominance during the last few years, the company said that it’s new “SPOT” technology is only the latest experiment in an effort to make “pickups as seamless as possible” by shaving off wait times and making rides easier from start-to-finish for drivers and passengers alike.

“When a rider requests a trip and is matched with a SPOT-enabled driver, the rider will be asked to select a color in the app while waiting. The rider can even light up their phone screen by pressing and holding on the color to help the driver quickly identify them. When the driver arrives, the SPOT device on his or her windshield will glow in the rider’s chosen color,” Uber said.

The feature is currently only available in Seattle, but Uber has in the past expanded services pending the success of trial runs. That fine-tuning has given the company a value estimated at more than $40 billion, and has enabled Uber to match up drivers and passengers a million times per day, according to its own statistics.

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