Uber has patented a light to go on top of cars that can signal to customers when their ride is arriving.
The patent was first filed in May 2014, but was only granted to Uber on January 3. It describes a light bar that sits on top of Uber cars, with a colour-changing section that can be controlled by the passenger’s app. The patent also describes how the entire bar could light up, and passengers could select different patterns.
It’s all meant to make it easier to identify which Uber is your car, and to show passengers the difference between an Uber and a regular car on the road.
Uber is currently testing a dashboard-mounted colour-changing light in four cities: Newcastle, Miami, Denver, and Nashville.
The dashboard light works in a similar way to Uber’s patented light bar. Passengers select the colour on their phones, and the light changes to whatever they select.
But don’t expect to see Uber’s dashboard light or its light bar patent on the streets of London any time soon. Transport for London, the London transport regulator, says that neither the dashboard light or the roof-mounted version would be allowed under existing legislation. Uber told Business Insider that it has no plans to launch the lights in London.
See Uber’s full patent below: