Lyft shaves its ‘stache for the new Amp, an LED beacon to find your ride


Finding your Lyft ride will soon get a lot easier — you won’t have to search for an ambiguous pink, glowing mustache or a Lyft placard on the side of a car. Instead, you’ll be able to easily distinguish your ride with Amp, a colorful connected device that Lyft hopes will “elevate” its brand.

The Amp is an oblong, oval display that sits in a Lyft driver’s car. Resembling a car’s rear-view mirror, the front of the Amp houses a RGB LED screen with the Lyft logo in the center; the back features another marquee-like display. The main purpose of the device is to help the driver and passenger find each other quickly.

Related: Lyft, Uber, and Zipcar are all helping get out the vote

When your driver arrives, the app will mention the color of the Amp. As your driver’s Amp starts flashing a color, like green, the app will also let you turn your phone into a giant green display. That way you can wave your phone’s screen at the driver to get his attention. If you’re in a crowded area with multiple people booking Lyft rides, the color will be different for each person.

Jesse McMillin, creative director at Lyft, tells Digital Trends that the screens can animate in a million different ways, and further personalization will arrive at a later date. For example, you may get the option to choose a color and pattern for the driver’s Amp to display to make it even easier to identify your Lyft.

When you get in the car, the back of the Amp displays basic messages like, “Hello John.” Down the road, Lyft plans to increase the amount of interactivity passengers can have with this Bluetooth-connected device — McMillin’s suggestions include a way to leave a message for the passenger after you, or the possibility of playing Pac-Man or Pong during the ride.

While the mustache will officially be retired, the company wants to retain its lighthearted and fun attitude. The company launched in 2012, and the fuzzy pink mustache quickly became an easy way for people to identify their rides. Just last year, Lyft replaced it with the “glowstache,” but it looks like both are taking a back seat to the Amp.

Related: You can now summon an Uber or Lyft directly from Google search

“We just felt like as we grow and get bigger, lots of people were sharing and talking about Lyft,” McMillin said. “You might not always know what the mustache means, and it just takes a lot more work to help you what that means. [Amp] also kind of elevates the brand too — it feels like it might be a little more mature, and more broadly understood.”

Lyft is launching its second big marketing campaign this week, featuring Tobias Jelinek from Stranger Things. They show corporate executives from “Ride Corp.,” a rather obvious allusion to the company’s main competitor, Uber. The ads are fun, while still underscoring several key points that differentiates Lyft from its competitors.

You won’t see Amp on the road just yet — drivers will get it after hitting a 75-ride milestone, but only after Amp hits the road on December 31.

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