Ridehailing giant Lyft announced that it’s going to shave off its fluffy pink moustache for good (all during the month of Movember, no less). To help unify branding across the diverse fleet of vehicles used by its drivers, Lyft will start replacing the dash-mounted glowing pink mustache, known as the Glowstache, with the AMP light system, a Bluetooth-connected beacon that its designers hope will become the taxi light of the future, highlighting the brand while creating a better, more personalized rider experience.
During a press event yesterday in Manhattan, Lyft spokespeople and designers unveiled the new display, which resembles a portable speaker, as well as a playful new ad campaign poking fun at its big rival, Uber.
The Amp display, which will sync to the app, gives Lyft a new communication platform as well as some new curbside capabilities. The beacon can dynamically change color, making Lyft cars more visible for standard pick-ups on a busy street, as well as offer color-coded guidance at busy locations such as airports or concerts. A rider looking for his or her car will be presented with a specific color on their phone that corresponds to the one shown on their driver’s Amp display, making it easier to find a ride in a crowd of cars. A user could even use their color-coded phone screen to flag down their driver.
Lyft designers see the Amp system as way to create a safer, more standard ride experience, as well as a new in-car communication platform. Not as distracting as the TV screens found in many taxis, Amp offers a more personalized interaction. A screen on the back of the Amp can display messages via a text scroll, and the main display can change colors to reflect a big event, such as the Pride Parade or a win by a local team (imagine Cubbie blue covering Chicago streets last week). This custom campaign feature can even be applied nationwide.
The displays will be sent out en masse to riders starting in early January, though some will be on display New Year’s Eve. Lyft prides itself on offering these kinds of unique features, such as in-app tipping, but still has quite a ways to go to catch up with Uber. While Lyft is valued at $5.5 billion, its bigger rival has a $68 billion valuation.