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Where once a showy pink mustache decorated the dashboards of Lyft vehicles, the Lyft Amp has now claimed its place.
Back in 2016, the brightly branded rideshare company officially retired its signature “Glowstache” and replaced it with a modern, tech-forward dashboard accessory. Known as the “Amp,” this unique device has made the Lyft experience more recognizable and personalized than ever.
Keep reading to learn about the device, how it works, and how you can receive a complimentary Lyft Amp in your mailbox.
- What Is the Lyft Amp?
- How Does the Lyft Amp Work?
- Benefits of Using a Lyft Amp
- How to Get a Lyft Amp
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Lyft Amp?
The Lyft Amp is a branded light-up sign that attaches to your vehicle’s dashboard to help riders recognize you as their Lyft driver. In addition to displaying the Lyft logo, the Amp changes to one of five different colors to match your rider’s app. This is called the “Beaconing” feature.
By making you easier to identify, the Beaconing feature helps riders get to you faster, which means you’ll be en route to earning and receiving your next trip request before you know it. This is particularly helpful when driving at the airport or at events, where many riders are requesting Lyft rides at the same time, especially if you’re one of many UberX drivers with common car models.
The interior-facing side of the Lyft Amp will automatically greet your rider by name as they’re in the vehicle, as a personalized touch to better the ride experience. Once you’re en route, your device will update your rider with their estimated time of arrival, so they don’t even need to pick up their phone to check their ride progress. If you’re on a Shared or Shared Saver trip, the Amp will also announce the next passenger to be dropped off.
How Does the Lyft Amp Work?
Even if you’ve seen the Lyft Amp in person, you may not know exactly how it works. It’s a sleek device that functions pretty seamlessly and sits stably on your dashboard, but it does require some initial setting up.
First up is installing the physical device onto your dashboard. Once you receive your three-piece kit, follow these steps to install your Amp:
- Clean and dry a spot on your dashboard.
- Remove the sticker from the magnetic base in your Amp kit, and press the base firmly down on the cleaned spot. The Lyft logo should face the front of your vehicle. Be careful when doing so, as this magnetic base cannot be moved.
- Set the Amp on the magnetic base.
- Plug in the USB charging cable to your Lyft Amp and car charger.
The Amp itself can be removed whenever you’re not driving with Lyft, even though the magnetic base must remain. However, while logged online, we recommend keeping the Lyft Amp on charging mode, so it’s one less thing to worry about. This may require you to purchase a new dual USB car charger like this one to ensure your phone can remain plugged in, too. If this isn’t in the budget yet, the Amp will notify you when battery levels are low — usually within eight hours.
Next, you need to pair the Amp with your smartphone. This is how your Lyft Driver app communicates what messages to display to the rider, including the rider’s name and the date (some holidays lead to automated festive messages!). To do so:
- Open your Lyft Driver app and turn on your Amp.
- Tap your profile photo on the top left corner to open the menu.
- Select the “Amp” section.
- Tap “Pair my Amp.”
The Amp’s unique engineering will link your smartphone and the device with no further hassle. Once you’re on the road, the Amp will do all the work for you, using LED lights to change colors as you near your rider’s pick-up location and displaying text on its own. You pretty much don’t need to touch the device beyond its setup phase.
Benefits of Using a Lyft Amp
While the Lyft Amp is largely a fun, useful device for your riders, it’s also highly beneficial to drivers in many ways.
First, the device makes your driving experience far safer. It will notify you when you have a new ride request, keeping your eyes closer to the road. Plus, it reduces the need for back-and-forth messaging with your passengers, as they’ll be able to quickly identify you from afar by cross-checking their ride’s color on their own Lyft app.
Piggybacking off of this fact, the Lyft Amp additionally speeds up your pick-up process. Cars can be difficult to identify, especially if you’re driving at night, so having an illuminated sign personalized to your rider will end up making a difference. In rideshare, time really is money.
One final benefit of using the Lyft Amp is that you’ll no longer need a front emblem (also known as a Lyft sticker on your front windshield). With the Amp, you can easily be identified as a rideshare driver when getting riders to and from the airport, or to exclusive events and rideshare areas — again, speeding up your trips little by little.
How to Get a Lyft Amp
Getting the Lyft Amp is absolutely free, but you do need to meet a few qualifications to receive it. You must:
- Be located in a city where Amp is available.
- Be a Gold or Platinum level driver in Lyft’s Accelerate Rewards program, which requires you to complete at least at least 175 to 250 rides (depending on your location) in the three most recent months. Note: Lyft is ending Accelerate Rewards after August 2019 and replacing it at an unspecified date. It’s unclear how this will affect Amp requirements, but presently, trip requirements don’t appear to be changing.
- Have an updated address in the app. If you need to update your address, head to this page on Lyft’s website for a walk-through.
If you’re unsure if Amp is available in your market, or how many more rides are required for you to receive an Amp, just open your Lyft Driver app and select “Amp” from your app menu to view details.
Once you achieve all the Amp requirements, Lyft will send you an invitation to claim your device, with a few extra steps. Once those steps are completed and you’ve confirmed your shipping address, the Lyft Amp should arrive within three weeks, equipped with a charging cable and base.
If you don’t drive your own vehicle, but regularly rent using Lyft’s Express Drive program, you will always have an Amp already equipped in your car.
Frequently Asked Questions
Now that you have all the information you need to get your Lyft Amp and start using it, here are our answers to frequently asked questions to round out your understanding:
1. Will using the Amp increase my tips?
Using the Lyft Amp likely won’t have a direct affect on your tips, or your ratings for that matter. This is because the Amp is more of a reflection of Lyft’s attention to detail than your service as a Lyft driver. However, the technology will only benefit your rider’s pick-up and on-trip experience, so if you provide five-star service on top of that, there’s a strong chance you’ll receive a generous tip.
2. Does Uber offer a device like Amp?
In 2016, shortly after Lyft launched Amp, Uber launched the pilot of their own color-pairing device called Uber Ubereacon. It’s not as personalized as the Lyft Amp, but it does help riders recognize their drivers.
However, most Uber drivers are unable to receive this device, as it is only available to those who meet unspecified qualifications in a small amount of cities. The Uber Beacon still appears to be active, though it’s unclear if the pilot phase has completed or if a wider roll-out will occur anytime soon.
3. Can I customize the messages my Lyft Amp displays?
Unfortunately, you cannot customize the messages that roll out on your device. This messaging is controlled by professional team members at Lyft, which helps them update features, while preventing any off-brand messaging or typos that may be unpleasant for your rider.
Light Your Rider’s Way to You
The Lyft Amp is a hugely beneficial, modern device to keep on your dashboard whenever you’re helping passengers get around town. With the help of the Amp, you can increase the amount of trips you make every hour while delighting passengers with a personalized ride experience. You can make headway toward qualifying for the device by accepting more trips now.
Once you have a Lyft Amp, read this article to learn how you can qualify for another free device that riders will love — and that will actually help you earn.
Brett Helling is the owner of Ridester.com. 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 Ridester.com 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.