Rental car companies can deliver vehicles to customers easily and create more of a seamless experience. - Photo: Halo.Car

Rental car companies can deliver vehicles to customers easily and create more of a seamless experience.

Photo: Halo.Car

Halo.Car, a US-based company developing remote driving technology for cars, announced April 17 the launch of the Halo beta program along with three initial participants: electric vehicle (EV) rental companies EV Access and Joulez and Spring Free EV, an EV fleet leasing company.

Vehicles equipped with Halo.Car’s driving technology can be remotely connected to and driven over LTE and 5G. The vehicles stream video from the installed cameras to drive consoles at an operations center, where a trained Halo.Car driver remotely ‘pilots’ the vehicle.

Halo.Car founder and CEO Anand Nandakumar formally presented the breakthrough service on April 16 at the International Car Rental Show in Las Vegas.

“After two years operating remote driving in our own rental fleet, I’m thrilled to be launching our technology to other fleet operators,” Nandakumar said in a news release. “Remote drivers will transform fleet operations. Rental companies can deliver vehicles to customers easily and make profits. Commercial fleets can streamline driver operations and save on costs. This launch is a huge step to unleashing that value for the millions of vehicles in fleets globally.”

The Halo beta program is the first opportunity for fleets to access Halo’s remote driving technology, which has previously been used exclusively by Halo. ICE and EV fleets in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Nevada can apply to the beta until May 30.

The final participants selected will be the first in the world to access the technology, receiving discounted costs and hands-on support from Halo.Car to deploy the remote driving technology.

“Customers want seamless on-demand convenience, and that means delivery," said Justin Pappan, CEO of EV Access, in the release. "Rather than getting a shuttle or an Uber to get to their car, we’re excited to offer a unique delivery experience so customers’ vehicles come to them. We’re thrilled to join Halo’s beta program and to launch remote deliveries of our rental cars to our customers.” EV Access operates its EV-only rental fleet of 250 vehicles in Phoenix and Salt Lake City.

Micah Bergdale, CEO of Joulez, explained the changing customer expectations and how Joulez is rising to meet it. “Customers expect a modern, convenient, digital experience. We’ve thought about the EV renting experience from the ground up to improve it, and offering contactless delivery with Halo’s remote drivers will be a game-changer.”

Joulez operates an EV-only rental fleet of 150 vehicles across New York, Chicago, Los Angeles and Austin.

To support the expansion of the beta program, Halo.Car is partnering with Spring Free EV, which will offer the technology as an added customer benefit. Interested EV companies can lease new or used EVs from Spring Free EV with Halo's technology pre-installed.

Applications to the Halo beta program are open at until May 30. The program is open to EV and ICE rental and carshare fleets in California, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Nevada, with a minimum of five cars to be enrolled in the beta program.

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