Innovation That Matters

Zipcar's iPhone app will find and unlock cars


If ever there’s been a company we’ve enjoyed watching evolve over time, it’s fast-moving Zipcar, whose frequent innovations since we first covered it back in 2003 have warranted fresh coverage on our pages on numerous occasions. The latest? Just announced on Monday, Zipcar now has its very own iPhone application. Created through a partnership between Apple and Zipcar, the new application will allow users of Zipcar’s car-sharing service to use their iPhones to find, reserve and unlock vehicles. Specifically, the application puts the iPhone’s GPS to work in locating the closest Zipcars, indicating them with coloured pushpins on a map; users can then use it to reserve the vehicle they want. Once they’re close to their vehicle, the technology will even beep the horn of the reserved Zipcar and unlock it. A video on CNET from the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference, where the technology was announced, demonstrates the application in action. The software will be available as a free download from the Apple App Store later this summer, Zipcar says. (Back in 2007, Zipcar launched a less fully-featured application for GPS-enabled cellphones that helps members pinpoint the nearest available car.) More than 25 percent of Zipcar members say their “life is on their iPhone,” according to Zipcar CTO Luke Schneider, so tapping the brand clearly makes good sense from a practical perspective. In addition, however, it’s also a prime example of what our sister site would call a brand butler offering—something extended by a familiar name, that helps to make consumers’ lives easier and more enjoyable. How can *your* brand “drive” customers to new heights of satisfaction…? 😉 Update 29 Sept 2009 | The free Zipcar App is now available from the iTunes app store. “Like so many urban dwellers today, more than 25 percent of Zipcar members live their life from their iPhones,” said Scott Griffith, Zipcar chairman and CEO. “The new Zipcar App is a simple, fun and self-service technology that now allows millions of iPhone and iPod touch users to have on-the-go access to Zipcars around the globe.” Spotted by: Ruben Feith



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