Melbourne Airport will become the first in Australia to adopt Uber PIN technology, which will speed up journeys for arriving passengers by matching them with the first available ride at a dedicated pickup point.

The new system is expected to reduce waiting times for both passengers and Uber’s driver-partners, while also helping to ease congestion in the busy terminal forecourt.

From December 14 passengers arriving at Melbourne Airport will be able to book an UberX on their smartphone and then proceed directly to a new kerbside pickup zone to be paired with a driver.

The technology is specifically designed for high volume environments such as airports and major events and means Uber driver-partners and riders are connected via the app with a PIN rather than by a rider finding a pre-assigned vehicle.

The introduction of a dedicated pickup zone has been prompted by changing passenger preferences, with Uber accounting for 27 per cent of commercial vehicle pickups at Melbourne Airport in 2019.

Melbourne Airport Chief of Ground Transport Jai McDermott said the technology would help improve the airport experience for hundreds of thousands of travellers.

“Passenger habits are evolving and it’s important that our airport infrastructure evolves with them”, he said.

“With Uber now the first choice for an increasing number of travellers into Melbourne, the reconfiguration of our kerbside area allows us to make best use of the limited forecourt space to cater to their needs.

“This change will also improve safety by removing the need for more than a million passengers to cross the busy terminal access road each year.

“The PIN system has already been used successfully at major events such as the Melbourne Cup and is in place at major international airports such as New York La Guardia (LGA) and Chicago (MDW).

“We’re proud that Uber has selected Melbourne Airport as the first in Australia to have our passengers benefit from this technology”.

The new Uber pickup zone will be located directly outside Terminal 2 with a secondary pickup location outside Terminal 4.

They will operate alongside existing kerbside taxi ranks at Terminals 1 and 4 and Skybus pickup points outside Terminals 1 and 3.