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New Uber features aim to drive the stress out of your holiday transportation

Uber app on a smartphone.
The holiday season is fast approaching, and so too is your need to find a designated driver. With so many opportunities to make merry, you’ll also want to make good decisions when it comes to leaving the party. Uber wants to lend a helping hand, and not by gouging prices this time. Rather, the ridesharing company has introduced a few new features just in time for the busy season to help you hop from one party to another with ease, starting with live location sharing.

While your driver already has a rough idea of where you are when you request a ride, live location sharing allows you to alert Uber as to your exact location relative to your pickup spot. Rather than having to call your driver to let him or her know that you’ll actually be walking around the corner to hop in, or attempting to wave her down from across the street, Uber’s new feature should make for a less stressful pickup.

“The rendezvous point between rider and driver is one of the most stress inducing parts [of the trip]. Often times you’re on the street, it might be cold, you’re looking around. It could be dark,” Uber product lead Nundu Janakiram told CNN Tech. “Riders kept telling us that they were basically trying to verbally [describe] their GPS point.”

To turn on live location sharing, you’ll need to tap the gray icon located in the bottom right corner of your screen. Once it turns blue, you’ll know that you’re sharing your location. Should you prefer to stop sharing your location, simply tap the icon again, or head over to the privacy settings in the Uber app to make necessary adjustments.

Though this feature is great for drivers, Uber is also making it easier for passengers to spot their rides. With the expansion of Uber’s beacons, more riders will be able to find their designated cars. The beacon sits on a driver’s windshield, and is said to “help drivers and riders more quickly connect at night and in crowded areas.” You can select the color that you want your driver’s beacon to emit, which ought to reduce confusion on busy nights when there are tons of Ubers circling the same block. While beacons were first introduced last holiday season, the service is now being expanded to New York, San Francisco, and Chicago.

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