James Dalglish, general manager of GO Rentals in New Zealand. Photo courtesy of GO Rentals
GO Rentals, a New Zealand-based car rental company, has joined forces with the New Zealand Transport Agency and HMI Technologies to test a Bluetooth device that delivers auto safety messages to rental car drivers. The trial started July 2.
The safety messages are sent from roadside transmitters — via Bluetooth — to devices in the rental vehicles.
According to GO Rentals, there are 60 roadside transmitters set up between Queenstown and Christchurch that will transmit three types of messages to the rental cars. The three messages include reliability (talking about the road, how to travel on it, etc.), amenity (where restroom facilities are located), and safety (stay on the left side of the road, slow down, etc.).
As rental customers drive along the road, the messages are heard like a radio announcement in the car, according to GO Rentals.
“We’re running the proof of concept over a three-month period until the end of September with a view to getting feedback from 100 users,” said James Dalglish, general manager of GO Rentals. “No doubt that once the full results from the surveys are collated we’ll have a better idea what the next steps are.”
If a rental customer is interested in participating in this government trial, the GO Rentals car is equipped with a Bluetooth receiver. During the trip between Christchurch and Queenstown, the customer listens to the safety messages and then takes a survey about their experience and whether the messages were helpful.
“If the trial is successful, the initiative may continue along the route and be implemented in other parts of New Zealand,” said Dalglish.
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