Avis Rolls Out Navigation System Nationwide

LIBERTYVILLE, Ill. -- Avis Rent A Car System and Motorola today announced a commercial contract making the "Avis Assist" phone-based navigation system available in up to 50 cities across the United States and Canada.

Avis Assist, developed by Motorola, allows Avis customers to rent a Motorola phone with a location-based navigation service. The system literally talks customers through directions to a destination, broadcasting street names and maneuvers along the way.

"Our four-month trial of Avis Assist at the Dallas-Fort Worth and Washington D.C. Dulles airports demonstrated to us that customers are embracing the added benefits of this GPS application," said Scott Deaver, executive vice president of marketing for Cendant Car Rental Group, the parent company of Avis. "Our consumer satisfaction scores were high, and we saw a repurchase intent well above 70% from users. We're particularly pleased that Avis Assist is useable in any car -- yet another example of how Avis is 'trying harder.'"

"Avis Assist" was developed by Motorola and based on its VIAMOTO software. With the use of a speaker phone, Avis Assist lets Avis renters receive spoken turn-by-turn driving directions on a Motorola i88s phone with onboard assisted global positioning system (GPS) capabilities over the Nextel National Network.

The customer connects with the call center via speed dialing and provides the representative with a destination address or requests a directory search for a point of interest in the area. A voice-enabled file with turn-by-turn directions for the route is then downloaded over the Nextel nationwide packet data network to the Motorola handset.

The service is continuously updated with map and point-of-interest data.

"Because it's portable, renters can use Avis Assist in or out of the vehicle, and Avis can provide a navigation system in any car type that it rents," said Mike Bordelon, Motorola's corporate vice president and general manager for consumer experience, planning and software.

Avis markets the service to its customers and charges a $9.95 per day rental fee.

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