Verizon says it is planning to launch a new smartphone app – called Verizon Auto Share – that would enable rental car customers to unlock a vehicle. Verizon says the app could make promotional offers like in-car Wi-Fi and fuel-purchase options.
It would also include Delphi’s in-vehicle telematics device. According to Verizon Enterprise Solutions, the new app will be rolled out late this year. Mark Bartolomeo, Verizon’s chief of connected solutions, remarked in a statement that car-sharing services, traditional rental agencies and corporate fleets would find the app very useful.
He disclosed that industry experts have noted that “car usership” as well as peer-to-peer sharing done through a mobile app is increasingly replacing car ownership as a main part of the connected life style, especially among young ones.
The Auto Share app seems to be similar to ZipCar’s access card. According to a company official, the app could unlock the car and start it – which means a user could warm up the vehicle during cold weather even without having to get inside it. A customer, however, can't use it to operate the car.