How to Use Uber's Beacon and Live Location Sharing Services

Find your ride right away

Having trouble finding your Uber driver? Learn how to use Uber Beacon and Uber location sharing to make sure you always get into the right vehicle.

Instructions in this article apply to the Uber app for iOS and Android.

What Is Uber Beacon?

Uber has created a device called Beacon that makes it a lot easier to pinpoint the car that you're supposed to be getting into. Utilizing color-pairing technology, the Bluetooth-enabled Beacon device is placed behind a driver's windshield and features the easily recognizable Uber app logo. The Beacon glows brightly in the specific color that the rider chooses within the app, causing it to stand out even when idling in a long line of similar-looking cars.

How to use Uber Beacon

Not all Uber drivers have Beacon. As of August 2020, Uber Beacon is only available in a limited number of cities.

How Does Uber Beacon Work?

If the driver you've been paired with has an Uber Beacon on their dashboard, the app will ask you to set a color. An interface will appear prompting you to drag the slider across an array of available colors. At this point, Uber recommends holding your phone up while you look for the car so that the driver will also see the matching color and can call out to you if needed.

If you return to the app and modify the color for any reason, the change will automatically be reflected on the driver's Beacon as well.

Uber Live Location Sharing

Another feature that makes it easier for drivers to connect with riders quicker is live location sharing. Although you are required to submit an address when requesting a ride, specific pickup locations are sometimes tough to find when you're in a busy public place. This usually results in some type of delay and prompts one or more phone calls or text messages between rider and driver. With live location sharing, the driver can easily determine your exact location through their app interface.

This functionality is not enabled by default, so some manual intervention on the rider's part is required to activate it. After a pickup has been initiated, Tap the gray icon in the bottom-right corner of the screen, then tap Confirm in the pop-up window to share your location.

A new icon will appear in the bottom-right corner of the map indicating that your live location is being shared. Tap the icon at any time to disable this feature.

Live Location Sharing in Uber

You can also toggle live location sharing by going to Settings > Privacy Settings > Location > Share Live Location in Uber's main menu.

Why Use Uber Beacon and Location Sharing?

When your Uber ride request is first accepted, you're instantly shown pertinent information including the driver's name and a photo of his or her face. More importantly, key details about the vehicle such as make, model, and license plate number are also provided. If you're being picked up in a not-so-crowded area, this is usually enough to easily identify the correct automobile upon arrival; however, this isn't always the case in high-trafficked areas with lots of ride-sharing cars and taxis.

It's not always easy to check the license plate of multiple vehicles in the dark, and to make matters worse many Uber drivers tend to have similar models. It can be especially tricky outside of concert venues or sporting events, as well as in front of busy hotels and airports. Uber Beacon and location sharing were created to help both riders and drivers in such situations.