Michael Burgess of Verizon with the Auto Share application
Seeing an opportunity to streamline the way people rent, borrow and use vehicles, Verizon
has announced a new car-sharing platform that allows drivers to rent vehicles by scanning a QR barcode with their mobile device. The announcement, made yesterday at the World Congress, promised that the wireless platform will be available by the end of the year.
According to Michael Burgess, a telematics representative for the company, Verizon Auto Share is just the first in a long line of possible share applications. Bicycles, construction equipment and government vehicles are just some items that Burgess says are shareable and need to be tracked and the renting process streamlined.
Verizon’s car-sharing mobile app is available on iOS, Android and Windows and allows drivers to search nearby cars available for sharing. The driver then has to scan a QR code on the vehicle’s windshield and authorise payment information. A key fob screen with lock/unlock, horn, trunk access and ignition functionality is then accessible.
No interaction is required with on-site attendants, and transactions over the Verizon wireless network are secured by Verizon Managed Security Services and Identity Verification.
The app can also be used for fleet management, helping organisations centralise location, diagnostic, usage and lifecycle information on a single mobile platform. Additional features such as in-car WiFi and fuel purchasing options will also be available.
Several cars connected to the Auto Share platform are being demoed during the show on Belle Isle. In addition, Burgess said that the company is in the process of setting up pilot programmes to field test the solution with rental car companies, dealerships and other organisations that rent or share vehicles.