- The Lyft Amp, introduced in 2016, replaces the “Glowstache” for a modern, recognizable ride experience.
- It features Bluetooth and LED, enhancing visibility and personalizing passenger interactions.
- Eligibility for a complimentary Amp requires being a Silver or Platinum Lyft driver with over 250 rides.
- While beneficial for driver and passenger experience, the Amp’s messages are not customizable.
Where once a showy pink mustache decorated the dashboards of Lyft vehicles (God bless the radiators whose airflow was constricted by those big furry things), 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?
The Lyft Amp is a detachable device designed to improve your Lyft driving experience. The pill-shaped Amp is Bluetooth and LED-enabled and works after being plugged in and paired with your phone.
The Lyft Amp attaches to your car dashboard and acts as an official Lyft sign, making Lyft’s trade dress immediately noticeable.
It’s a way to create a more unique driving experience for you and your passengers and a way to stand out from Uber and other ridesharing services
It is worth noting that the message on the Amp sign cannot be customized. However, 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. This is a way for Lyft to guarantee that its drivers are committed to safety by remaining under the trade dress at all times.
Brett’s Take: Thoughts From an Expert
When I get picked up by a driver, I love seeing the Lyft amp in their windshield. Since their release, I have always been fascinated with them – especially the fact that the messaging and colors change as the ride progresses.
When I drive, I always have mine plugged in. Not only does it allow your car to be more visible to riders, making it easier for passengers to identify your vehicle, but also adds a professional touch.
If you’re in the market for one, remember that they’re often available through various channels, sometimes even for free or at a nominal cost. However, be mindful of regional regulations as they might affect the legality of using such devices.
In any case, the Lyft Amp can be a cool accessory to have, adding a bit of flair to your rideshare gig.
How Does the Lyft Amp Work?
To start using the Lyft Amp, launch the device and pair it with your phone via the app:
- Open the main menu
- Tap “Amp”
- Select “Pair my Amp”
Ensure your phone Bluetooth is on to connect automatically.
They’re actually super easier to use, and require very little once they’re set up. You pretty much don’t need to touch the device beyond its setup phase.
How to Install the Lyft Amp
To install the Lyft Amp on your car dashboard:
- Carefully clean a choice spot on your dashboard with a cloth slightly dampened by water, and wait until it dries
- Remove the sticker from the base. Be careful when doing so, as this magnetic base cannot be moved.
- Place the Amp on your dashboard with the Lyft logo facing your front windshield
- Hold it down firmly for about 30 seconds
You can remove the Amp from your dashboard at any time and use the mounts and stickers to remount it. The adhesive used on the base is designed for dashboards, so there’s no need to worry about any damage to your car.
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.
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.
Maintaining the Device
For new Amps, ensure the device is plugged in when you hit the power button. The battery life is 8 hours, but you can keep the Amp charged while on rides.
The charging cable is a standard micro USB. If yours gets damaged, Lyft can’t replace it, but you can easily get one at a store.
With older Amps, you may have to deal with batteries that overheat easily. To preserve the Amp, keep it away from hot temperatures and leave it indoors when you’re not driving.
You should ensure that the Amp light is always white when not picking up passengers. Also, don’t forget to switch off the device when you’re not actively using the Lyft driver app for new ride requests.
Getting a New Ride Request With the Lyft Amp
For all rides except Lyft Shared orders, the Amp lights up with a “New Ride” display when you get a new ride request and changes color to match your Lyft driver app.
For instance, if your device glows green, the rider’s smartphone will light up with the same color, making it easy for the passenger to spot you, especially at night.
The Amp personalizes the experience for your passengers by greeting them by name when they enter your vehicle. They’ll be pleased with the experience and may even give you more tips than usual.
When doing Lyft Shared rides, the Amp sign will light up with each passenger’s name as they’re being dropped off and picked up.
How Can You Get the Lyft Amp?
To get the Lyft Amp, you must be a Silver or Platinum-tier driver in the Lyft Driver Reward program and have completed at least 250 rides through the driver app. You also have to reside in a city where the Amp is distributed.
Here’s how to check whether you’re eligible for it:
- Open the app
- Click on “Vehicles and Devices”
- Select “Amp”
- Click on “Eligibility”
From there, you can view how many rides you’ve completed and order the device directly from the app if you’re eligible. Note that you’ll be unable to apply for a Lyft Amp if your account has been deactivated.
Lyft Amp for Express Drive
If you use Lyft Express Drive, your vehicle may come with an Amp by default, so taking care of it is essential to avoid paying damage fees when your rental period expires.
Can You Buy a Lyft Amp?
The official Lyft Amp can’t be bought via the official website. It’s only sold on third-party stores such as eBay.
For eligible drivers, Lyft provides the means of dispatching the device to your location without the need to pay any money. But if you’re interested in buying one on eBay, the price range is between $50 and $200.
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
Frequently Asked Questions
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 Uber Beacon.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.
The official Lyft website states that Amp distribution has been temporarily paused in some parts of the U.S., so you may have to wait for a bit to get yours. But that’s no reason not to go for it, as you’ll be notified as soon as your application is deemed eligible.
Lyft Amps make your vehicle more visible to other drivers, so you further reduce the chances of an accident, ensuring a safe driving experience. It’s also a way to help you stand out from workers of other ridesharing services like Uber.