Uber's enormous success comes from its ability to optimise every journey. The idea that it's algorithms set you up with the driver best placed to whisk you to your destination, with as little fuss as possible. It's why the company launched UberPool - so drivers will have even less dead time, driving to find passengers, and why the company recently started specifying pick-up spots. Now, it appears, the company is going a step further to cut down on one potential source of lag: When you're trying to figure out which car is the one who is coming to pick you up.
So as of today, the company has announced a couple of new features to speed this up. First, there's something really obvious that we're surprised hasn't been done before: It'll now tell you the colour of the car coming for you, so you can narrow it down that way.
And secondly, the company is adding a new "Beacon" feature. This is a light that goes on the driver's windscreen, and will project a colour that you, the rider, have chosen in the app. So it'll be an extra visual cue that yes, the red car with the yellow beacon is the one that you're looking for. The company says that Beacon will be rolling out to four cities this week - including Newcastle - presumably with more to come in the future.
Surely the only way Uber has left to squeeze even more efficiency out of their drivers now is by telling them to ignore red lights?