NZ’s First Rental Car App Making Life Easier

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Article Source PRnewswire

A leading rental car company Go Rentals has produced a New Zealand first mobile app to help make life easier for its customers.

It is the first app of its kind for New Zealand car rental customers to help them manage their rental experience.

GO Rentals undertook the strategy and planning and brought in mobile development and visual design experts to build the app. It took 12 months to develop including extensive research and development.

James Dalglish, Go Rentals general manager, says more and more of their customers were using their mobile phones to do business with them.

“We saw a golden opportunity to streamline the customer experience via mobile tech. Mobile apps for car rental are not a new thing but we believe we’ve got some unique functionality in ours,” Dalglish says.

“Customers can create and manage a user profile including their driver licence and credit card details which reduces the number of steps required to book and pick up a car.

“When they arrive to pick up their vehicle, customers are still required to show their licence and credit card, sign a contract and check over vehicle condition. But they can use the app to request our courtesy airport shuttles at the touch of a button and get a real time eta. They can also use the app to find their way back to our depots to return vehicles, which saves a lot of time and stress.”

“It’s our mission to become the world’s most loved car rental company and this app helps reach that goal. It is an example of how we are leading the way in using technology to make life easier for customers.”

GO Rentals has six branches nationwide and will have a fleet of more than 2500 cars this summer.

Article Source PRnewswire

World First Road Safety Trial Wins National Award

go rentals

Article Source Scoop

Auckland – A world first trial delivering Bluetooth audio safety messages to South Island rental car drivers has won a national award.

A collaboration of GO Rentals, Ministry of Transport, New Zealand Transport Authority, HMI Technologies and Resolve has taken out the Charted Institute of Transport and Logistics’ Safety, Security & Environmental Innovation 2016 Award.

The trial started earlier this year for GO Rental customers on the route between Christchurch Queenstown. Tourism is at record levels and demands for renting cars keeps rising. National guest nights jumped 6.4 per cent to 2.45 million in August from the same month last year, the highest ever recorded for the month, according to Statistics New Zealand. Continue reading

GM Invests in Chinese Startup Focused on Car Rental Technology

Motor City Mobility

Article Source Fortune

General Motors has invested in a Chinese technology company that has built a service for arranging short-term car rentals, part of a broader push by the automaker to expand beyond its roots.

General Motors said Tuesday it has invested an undisclosed amount in Yi Wei Xing Technology “as another move in exploring personal mobility in China.” Yi Wei Xing is the company behind Feezu, a service that can be used by traditional car rental companies to rent cars by the hour or in even smaller increments. Continue reading

How to Save Money on Car Rentals

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Article Source NYTimes

Why is it that a car rental might cost you as much as $300 one weekend and just $50 the following one with the same company? Such price variations are common in the car rental industry, according to Gary Leff, the founder of the travel deals site viewfromthewing.com. “Car rental prices constantly go up and down in big leaps,” he said.

Here, he shares his tips for getting the better end of the bargain: Continue reading

New Anti-Crash Technology Could Reduce Crashes Involving Foreign Drivers

tesla car hire

Article Source stuff.co.nz

OPINION: The problem of foreign drivers straying on to the wrong side of the road and killing or injuring other motorists is a vexed one.

Tourism is now our biggest income earner and our economy needs the dollars, but that can come at a high price.

We saw frustration with overseas drivers boil over last summer when frustrated locals snatched the keys off foreign drivers and created the sort of headlines that give tourism bosses sleepless nights.

Apart from trying to warn and educate foreign drivers, the car rental industry has struggled to come up with any solutions.

The answer may be sitting with an Israeli company that is looking to introduce their anti-crash shield equipment here soon.

Elad Serfaty, vice president of sales for Mobileye, told me on a recent visit to the Israeli companies offices in Jerusalem that installing their collision avoidance system in New Zealand rental cars will reduce the rate of accidents involving overseas tourists by 50 percent.

The system uses a software algorithm which processes the information from a single forward facing camera that sits just behind a vehicle’s rear view mirror to collect data and identify hot spots for accidents.

Serfaty says Mobileye is in talks with a New Zealand-based rental car company and a bus company, and hopes to sign deals this year.

“We can save pedestrians and cyclists from being killed,” he says.

Today there are nearly 13 million vehicles fitted with its equipment from 25 different car manufacturers, including BMW, Audi, GM, VW and Nissan.

In Israel, car owners with collision avoidance systems in their cars are filing 45 percent fewer claims and now receive a 15 percent discount on their insurance premiums.

“This could kill some insurance companies” says Serfaty.

Mobileye, along with Google and Apple, is also at the forefront of the race to produce driverless cars, and was recently visited by a New Zealand trade mission to Israel led by Spark chief executive Simon Moutter.

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Worldwide, 1.5 million die in car accidents annually, while more than 8000 have died on New Zealand roads in the past two decades.

The Israeli company says the cost of car crashes could be as high as two percent of their GDP, and they believe there will be a major economic transformation as driverless cars are phased in over the next 20 to 30 years.

“Autonomous or driverless cars will change whole economies,” says Serfaty.

“At the moment our utilisation of cars is about 8 percent. Imagine if you could take the car to work then send it home for someone else to use.”

The original timeframe for autonomous cars was 2035 but the timetable got reset when Google entered the game.

“Google has stimulated the race but the big carmakers are determined to defend their market share. BMW has committed to 2021.”

Serfaty says Google is aiming for an “all at once” solution but he thinks the traditional automakers will win the day with “evolution not revolution”.

“We see it being a step by step process. First hands-off driving, then eyes off and finally mind off “.

The race to build autonomous cars hit a serious speed bump a few months ago.

In California, a Tesla equipped with a Mobileye system and a radar system crashed into semi-trailer, killing the driver. It was reported that the driver was watching a Harry Potter movie at the time.

After the crash, Tesla parted company with Mobileye.

Tesla founder Elon Musk chief executive said: “Mobileye’s ability to evolve its technology is unfortunately negatively affected by having to support hundreds of models from legacy auto companies.”

And Tesla is now being investigated by the US road safety watchdog after another one of its cars, believed to have been on auto pilot crashed in Montana in July.

“The systems still have limitations and drivers should be warned about that…..we are not yet at the point where you can watch a movie instead of the road.”

One of the major issues confronting the transport planners in the future will be how driverless cars mix with cars driven by humans.

“The computer driven car will stick to the rules but it will have to learn how to react to human driven cars breaking the rules. Our long term goal is to imitate the human brain. ”

“Accidents will still happen, they won’t disappear but there will be a lot less of them.”

One answer of course is to have areas where there are only autonomous cars and no vehicles driven by humans.

Serfaty predicts that Germany will be the first country to make a major move in this direction.

California and Israel have trial areas and Auckland mayoral candidate, and Mobileye’s Elad Serfaty would like to see New Zealand become a test bed for the new technology.

“Autonomous vehicles are coming, there is no stopping this now, and it’s happening much faster than most people think.”

Article Source stuff.co.nz

Men Modify Rental Car with Home-Made ‘Snorkel’, Take Off-Road Near Queenstown

snorkel car

Article Source Stuff.co.nz

A rental car with home-made modifications, including a “snorkel” made from downpipe, has been pink-stickered by police after being driven off-road.

The driver was issued with an infringement notice and ordered not to drive the car by police at Queenstown Airport on Wednesday.

Constable Matt Hargreaves said four men rented the car, took the bonnet off and added a “snorkel”, before taking the car on an off-road joyride around the hills of Arrowtown. Continue reading

Wonder Wheels: The Best Car Rental Apps for Android and iOS.

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Article Source ThyBlackMan

If you decide to rent a car, whether in your local area or on holiday, part of the difficulty involves finding the most suitable car at the best price. Fortunately, there are lots of smartphone apps these days that can make finding a vehicle much quicker and easier.
Here are a few of the best that are currently available for Android and iOS so that you can take the hassle out of finding a rental car.

Hertz
The Hertz app is available for Android and iOS. Hertz is one of the most popular rental car companies in the world, and this app is a great option when you are traveling somewhere new because you’ll always find a rental car nearby.
Get directions via the app, and use it to find and book your rental car. You can also use it for roadside assistance and for finding special offers. Continue reading

Police Apathy Over Stolen Cars ‘Just the Tip of the Iceberg’ for Auckland Man

rent tip

Article Source Stuff

A man who has had multiple cars stolen from his South Auckland business says police “just don’t want to know about it”.

Six cars were stolen in broad daylight from Ian Charlton’s Manukau rental car company, Rent a Dent, over a period of two years – putting him more than $20,000 out of pocket.

But Charlton said when he reported it, police had no interest in doing anything.

The 46-year-old father of four came forward after news on Sunday of a Wellington man taking justice in to his own hands to recover a stolen trailer, and claiming similar police apathy.

Charlton said his experience with police is worse.

“We had five cars stolen last year and one so far this year. I’m not talking about late at night, breaking glass and hot wiring the car. People come in and rent a car off us … and literally just don’t bring the car back.”

He said crooks would present false details and stolen credit cards, and there was little way of knowing they were fraudulent until they didn’t return the car.

Police insisted they were actively investigating two reports of stolen vehicles from Charlton’s business.

But Charlton said he has never seen any evidence of a police investigation. Continue reading

Who To Call When You Put Diesel In A Petrol Tank In Greymouth?

♫ If you’re having car troubles I feel bad for you son, I got 99 problems but that ain’t one ♫

What could be more stressful than breaking down on the side of the road in a country half way across the world! At least after reading this guide you will know where you stand and what you can do about it!

Are you a vehicle specialist and know how to fix practically anything? Then why are you reading this? Drain that fuel and get back on your way! If not, read on.

  1. Kiwi’s are known for their friendliness and can do attitude, first port of call is to ask the service station (or even that friendly looking bloke next to you) for assistance and hopefully they will be able to get you back on the road!
  2. Service station wasn’t very helpful? Next step is to check with the rental car company and see if your camper has break down insurance! Ideally checking their website before you go alarming them over the phone! If you are lucky and this is covered arrange for them to send the mechanic to your location and you will likely see their glorious repair truck within the hour!
  3. If you weren’t so lucky, your third option is to try and get in contact with your insurance company (travel and or vehicle insurance) hopefully you have this! If they are being helpful you will be back on the road in no time! otherwise read on to our last option.
  4. Our final and most expensive option is to call the Automobile Association (0800 500 222), If your not a member this will be rather expensive as you will have to become one! This will be done on the side of the road via credit card. $195 later you will now be covered for road side assistance. The repairer will drain your tank and you will be back on your way!

Have you got a traveling horror story? let us know in the comments bellow!