Looking for a way to help travelers get to their destinations faster, car rental company Hertz is adding iPads and other touchscreen devices to a handful of its retail stores in North America.
The redesign called “Road Trip by Hertz” includes several concierge-style services that reduces the amount of time needed to wait in lines. The changes include an iPad station equipped with four tablets for researching local area information. Travelers can also recharge their mobile devices and make use of printing and FedEx services on-site.
The iPad bar has pre-loaded travel apps, games for kids, and iPad-enhanced apps to book a Hertz reservation. Travelers can also check email, print boarding passes or pass time until their flight. More than 800 locations have gotten the makeover with the iPad kiosks to date. Several of the locations also offer iPads for rent.
The initial rollout included rental facilities at the San Diego and Shanghai Airports, Hertz’s Marble Arch location in central London and its Melbourne, Australia headquarters. Additional neighborhood locations and travel hubs including Newark and Dulles airports are expected to get the upgrade throughout the year. The company said it will convert to this new format in all global locations by 2015.
“Hertz’s goal is to provide the lifestyle experience traveler’s desire when on the road,” Hertz chairman and CEO, Mark Frissora said in a statement. “Since we unveiled the first redesigned locations, customer feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.”
(Tablets in Retail & Commerce will be a key panel at the upcoming TabletBiz conference & expo in New York on November 13.)
High tech but green
Additional “Road Trip by Hertz” makeovers include a retail area that sells food, drinks, and travel supplies - everything from maps and sunscreen to charging cords and beach bags. Some updated facilities also carry luggage, clothing and accessories.
Working with its leasing company, Donlen, Hertz is piloting new telematics for its busses that coordinate with the revamped retail sites. A customer app for download enables them to see how many minutes until a Hertz bus will be at the terminal for pick up. The system helps bus drivers identify where customers need to be picked up creating a more efficient bussing system and decreasing the amount of fuel used.
While the changes are dramatic, the construction at select sites includes the use of LED and energy efficient lighting, solar power systems and solar outdoor lighting.
At other sites, Hertz said it is using post-consumer recycled content materials and finishes, water saving fixtures and zero-VOC paints. The addition of iPads for customers signifies an energy-efficient way to keep travelers up to date, the company said.