LISNR Review: Your Comprehensive Breakdown

Didn’t your mother tell you never to get into a car with a stranger? Of course, she did. So why is it that millions of people ride around town with strangers every single day? Disclosure: is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or...

Didn’t your mother tell you never to get into a car with a stranger? Of course, she did.

So why is it that millions of people ride around town with strangers every single day?

Disclosure: is supported by our users. We may recieve compensation from the companies whose products we write about, test, or review. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Because Uber and Lyft are so convenient that mom’s words of wisdom have gone right out the window.

Uber and Lyft background check their drivers, and millions of safe rideshare rides take place every day.

But the ones that make the headlines are the horror stories – and there are quite a few of them. So it’s no surprise that drivers and passengers are growing increasingly concerned with the safety of the rideshare industry.

As a driver, you don’t know who you’re picking up or what evil plans they may be plotting in your backseat. As a passenger, you have no idea what the driver is thinking or where they’re considering taking you. On both sides of the relationship, safety is key.

That’s why apps like LISNR are becoming more important than ever.

LISNR is designed to help riders and drivers ensure that they are getting into the right vehicle or picking up the right passenger.

So what is LISNR all about? How does it work?

Today we’re answering those questions and more in our comprehensive LISNR review. Whether you’re a driver or a rideshare passenger, keep reading to learn everything you need to know about this potentially life-saving app.

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What is LISNR?

Now you may be thinking that we’re going a bit too far by calling LISNR a life-saving app. But we’re not.

The unique audio technology and the ease of use make it exactly that – especially for those who partake in the rideshare industry.

LISNR is an app that transmits data between two devices through inaudible sounds. By using this technology, passengers can make sure that they’re getting into the right vehicle. Drivers can make sure that they’re picking up the right passenger.

LISNR doesn’t rely on hardware like Bluetooth connectivity or Wi-Fi. It doesn’t rely on radio frequencies to transmit data. It doesn’t matter if cell phone service is weak. Instead, it takes a simple sound and creates a data transmission between any two devices equipped with a speaker or a microphone.

And since LISNR is trying to improve the overall safety of rideshare, Uber and Lyft can now embed the technology right into their app. That means all drivers can have it.

By embedding the tech into the app, passengers that have the app on their phone will be able to connect to the driver’s device.

The driver’s app will send out an inaudible tone to the rider’s smartphone. The passenger’s smartphone will send a similar tone back to the driver’s app. This connection allows both parties to verify that they’ve made the proper driver/passenger connection.

By making this verified connection, drivers won’t have to worry about picking up the wrong passenger (one who might do them harm). Passengers won’t have to worry that they’re getting into the wrong vehicle (or getting into a car that isn’t an Uber or Lyft at all).

How Does LISNR Work?

So how does the technology actually work?

Uber and Lyft drivers know all too well how easy it can be to pick up the wrong passenger, especially in crowds at sporting events, concerts, or festivals. Passengers also know how hard it can be to locate your driver on a busy city street. It’s even more of a challenge when there are dozens of rideshare drivers picking up passengers at your same location.

You’ll still have to physically locate your driver or rider, but with LISNR, you can confirm right away that you’ve got the right one.

With LISNR, ultrasonic data transmission occurs as soon as there is a sound. For example, an Uber driver will know if they’ve got the right passenger as soon as they get into the car. How? Through inaudible tones that you can’t even hear.

Those inaudible tones connect between two LISNR-enabled devices. This creates an instant authentication solution so you know you’re matched with the right driver or rider. If you’re not in the right vehicle, you’ll know right away.

Here are the technical details:

LISNR sends out a Smart Tone to a nearby device, transmitting content such as an image or a text message. The device receiving the signal then sends a Smart Tone back, so both devices and both parties know that they’re matched with the right person.

Though it can be effective in any situation, this technology could be extremely useful for drivers and passengers at the airport.

Every airport has different regulations and pickup points for passengers who have already requested an Uber or a Lyft. And while drivers know the designated locations, passengers don’t always know where to go.

It can be very difficult for passengers to find their car. Add to that the fact there that can be dozens or hundreds of people looking for a rideshare at the same time and the airport pick up becomes a bit of a nightmare.

LISNR won’t save you from having to locate the airport pick up point for rideshares. You’ll still need to do that on your own. But once you’ve found what you think is your ride, you can then use LISNR to authenticate that you’re getting into the right car.

LISNR is also ideal for traditional taxi companies that don’t require booking through a mobile app. For example, RideYellow is a taxi app that allows riders to schedule a cab or hail a taxi from the street. With the addition of LISNR, passengers hailing a taxi on the street can now get into any RideYellow taxi and connect their app to the cab that they’re in.

By doing so, customers can access other features of the RideYellow app. They can pay their driver through a credit card they’ve already linked to their RideYellow account and see what the price of their trip will be up front.

For companies such as RideYellow, LISNR is making it possible to connect online and offline customers. This allows for better payment experiences and safer rideshare experiences, which is what it’s all about.

Want to get home from the airport faster? Check out our tips on saving time with Uber Insta Pings.

How Beneficial is LISNR to Passengers?

How LISNR benefits rideshare riders

Worried that you’re getting into the wrong Uber or Lyft? Don’t like spending that extra moment or two verifying the driver’s license plate or asking them to confirm the name of the passenger they’re picking up?

With LISNR’s technology, you’ll have all the verification you need.

But you still have to be smart about it.

Don’t get into a car, let the driver lock the door, and then check to see if you’re in the right vehicle. By that point, it could be too late. Instead, check your LISNR authentication before getting in the car and shutting the door.

All the technology in the world won’t be able to save you from a dangerous situation. So it’s best to think of LISNR as an additional step to take towards safety. It’s still important to verify the license plate and ask the driver who they’re picking up – before getting into the car.

These simple steps can go a long way into ensuring that you’ll arrive safe and sound at your destination.

How Can LISNR Help Drivers?

How LISNR helps rideshare drivers

Afraid that you’re picking up the wrong passenger? Concerned that the wrong person might be getting into your car to rob you or cause you physical harm?

With LISNR, you won’t have to worry about that. Your phone will get a tone from the passenger’s phone, so you can verify that you’ve got the right passenger before they get in.

More Tips to Stay Safe

While we love the idea of technology that can help to make us safe, good old-fashioned common sense is still the best way to protect yourself.

Tips for Driver Safety:

Traditional taxi cab drivers are known for having cash on hand, which has always made them a target for theft or assault from a passenger. And even though everyone knows Uber and Lyft drivers get paid through the app, there is always the threat that a passenger could intend to do them harm.

Here are three safety tips that drivers should always keep in mind:

1. If a passenger in the back of your car poses a threat, head to a safe place and contact 911 immediately. If you have more than one passenger in the back of your car and a conflict arises between them, be very careful how you intervene. When in doubt, contact 911 for assistance.

2. Be on alert at all times, regardless of who your passenger is. Check passenger ratings before accepting ride requests. If a passenger starts getting aggressive with you, end the ride. If you need to, call 911 for help.

3. Avoid unsafe neighborhoods. Even if you have a great passenger, dropping them off in a dangerous area can put you at additional risk that has nothing to do with the ride itself.

Stay safe, drivers. See our full training lesson on Uber driver safety.

Tips for Rider Safety: 

When getting into the back of a rideshare, there are a few basic rules to remember. Just keep in mind, you need to follow these steps BEFORE getting into the car.

Here are three safety tips that passengers should live by:

1. Check the license plate number. Uber and Lyft apps display the vehicle’s license plate number. Always double-check that you are getting into the right vehicle before jumping in and closing the door.

2. Check the make and model of the car. If the vehicle doesn’t match the description on the app, you’ve got the wrong car.

3. Open the door and ask the driver who they are there to pick up. Don’t say, “are you here to pick up Joe?” Instead, say “who are you picking up”? Then wait for the driver to say “Joe.” If the driver doesn’t know your name, do NOT get in.

4. While you’re doing the name check, compare the driver’s photo on the app to the person who is actually driving the car. If the pictures don’t match, don’t get in the vehicle.

These safety tips are important – and LISNR is that one extra step to ensure verification for you if you fail to do so yourself.

The Future of LISNR

So what’s in store for LISNR going forward?

If the accolades and awards they’ve racked up are any indications, the future of the company is certainly bright. The company was founded in 2012 by Rodney Williams, and in the last few years, they’ve received quite a bit of recognition.

Every year CNBC puts out a list of “disruptors,” which recognizes the 50 most innovative companies in the world. LISNR has been named a “disruptor” four times in the past five years.

For advancement in financial technology, Visa named them the winner of The Everywhere Initiative award. South by Southwest awarded LISNR with their Innovation & Technology award. Ernst & Young gave them their Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2017. And the list goes on and on …

And LISNR isn’t limited to the rideshare industry. It’s being used in a variety of other industries as well. Ticketing, transportation, airlines, and banks are all starting to use it. In many cases, it’s replacing QR codes.

rideshare is just one of the many industries that LISNR is trying to improve. So it’s pretty exciting to think about the possibilities of what this unique technology can do in other areas.

Among other things, LISNR is trying to make the rideshare industry safe for everyone involved.

But LISNR alone won’t keep you safe – you still need to use your street smarts and common sense before picking up a passenger or getting into the back of a car. With that said, this technology does provide a measure of safety unlike any other that we’ve seen.

Ready to make your next ride a little bit safer? Download the LISNR app from Google Play or the App Store now. Want to know more about the technology and the way it’s changing the game in different industries? Visit the LISNR website to learn more.

Brett Helling

Brett Helling is the owner of He has been a rideshare driver since early 2012, having completed hundreds of trips for companies including Uber, Lyft, and Postmates. In 2014 he acquired to share his experiences with other drivers. His insights are regularly quoted by publications such as Forbes, Vice, CNBC, and more. He is currently working on a book about working in the Gig Economy, expanding his skill set beyond the rideshare niche. Read more about Brett here.

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