Lyft is opting for a new look and shaving its stache. The popular ridesharing service announced Tuesday that a new feature will replace the unmistakable pink mustaches from all of its vehicles.
Instead, riders will find a connected device that will appear in all Lyft cars at the very beginning of 2017. The Bluetooth-connected Lyft Amp is the company’s answer to streamlined communication and an improved user experience between riders and drivers.
Each Amp, an oblong speaker-like device, will be displayed in windshields and will feature the Lyft logo set across flashing ambient light. When a rider orders a Lyft car, a color will appear in the app that will correspond to the driver’s Amp color, making it easy for the rider to spot their designated driver. It’s what the company refers to as “Beaconing.”
Lyft Amp is the ridesharing company’s first official foray into connected devices and will offer various features to enhance communication and Lyft riders’ “in-car experience,” the company said.
"John, Logan, Jesse and I met a year and a half ago and we talked about how it was time to retire the mustache and how we wanted to get the Lyft logo more front and center,” Lyft’s Head of Ride Experience Ethan Eyler told International Business Times at a press announcement Monday. Eyler was referring to Lyft founders Logan Green and John Zimmer, and Lyft’s vice president creative director Jesse McMillin.
“It wasn’t just about replacing the mustache but creating a platform that we can control and where we can create this ubiquitous experience,” Eyler said of the change. The goal of Amp, according to Eyler, was to create “the new wave of taxi lights for the ride-sharing economy.”
If color-coded ridesharing sounds a little familiar it might be because Uber introduced a similar idea in December. The competing ridesharing company introduced a pilot program that featured Uber SPOT, a wand-like LED device that attached to Uber drivers’ windshields and that would allow drivers to pick a color that would correspond to an in-app color on riders’ phones.
Lyft’s Amp takes the concept of a color-coded ride sharing experience further. Amp also features a driver-facing screen that will display text, images and fun greetings that will flash across the device’s pixilated screens.
The messaging capabilities for the Amp device could mean that certain info regarding riders’ preferences could eventually be displayed. Drivers could one day receive alerts regarding a rider’s car temperature preference and desired music choices, all before the rider even sets foot into the car.
Beginning Dec. 31, the furry pink mustaches and “glowstaches” will be no more. Lyft Amp will debut in all Lyft cars in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York City. The rest will roll out across the 200 cities that Lyft is currently available in by mid-2017, according to a release.
The ridesharing service has also rolled out a new brand campaign, “Ride on the Bright Side.” The campaign, which is poised to run through the end of 2016, sees the debut of four new commercial spots. The television spots debut Tuesday and will offer a first look at Lyft Amp.
Each commercial spot highlights different brand “pillars” like safety and efficiency. The commercials take a tongue-in-cheek approach to highlighting Lyft’s mission and competitive advantages, and the setting for each commercial’s story is set in the backdrop of a “rival” ridesharing company (viewers can use their imaginations here).
Beginning New Year’s Eve, select cities will be able to catch the new color-coded Lyft Amp device feature.