Alamo Rent A Car has announced an investment in the creation of a new “self-vacationing fleet” — self-driving rental vehicles that will plan, navigate, and drive during the customized vacation.
Beginning next year, Alamo will introduce fully automated, self-driving vehicles into its rental fleet.
Utilizing patented vacation cruise control technology, each rental vehicle will create a detailed daily itinerary for vacationers to review, adjust, and approve. Once accepted, the vehicle will drive passengers to each location and set the preferred interior temperature, music, and more for their customized trip, according to Alamo.
Alamo customers could rent a convertible, put on a bathing suit, and spread out a towel to sunbathe while the vehicle drives them to their vacation destination. With the ability to flip their seats around to face backseat passengers, travelers will have options for activities in the car including taking naps, reading a book, or playing cards.
The “Self-Vacationing Fleet” will also be equipped with in-vehicle cameras that will snap photographs along the way and share to passengers’ preferred social media channels.
Renters will be able to program the cars for scheduled breaks at nearby restrooms within their itinerary — an added plus for families traveling with small children. If food preferences are identified, the vehicle will pre-order a meal or snack, stop to pick it up, and deliver it to the back seat with no effort required on the part of the ‘driver,’ according to Alamo.
“According to our research, more than three-quarters of Alamo customers say they would be more likely to take a vacation if their vehicle handled all of the planning,” said Rob Connors, vice president of brand marketing for Alamo. “Travelers are yearning for the kind of assistance that self-vacationing vehicles would provide in order to make the most of their getaway … no more time-consuming searches for ‘best places to stop.’ Our automated technology alerts customers to everything from ‘must-see photography stops’ to ‘the best local shops for ice cream sundaes’ depending on their preferences. With this much demand, our prediction is that these smart vehicles will disrupt and revolutionize the travel industry as we know it.”
Alamo will pilot its “Self-Vacationing Fleet” the summer of 2017 in Orlando and San Diego. Further expansion of the program will take place in 2018.
PS: APRIL FOOLS! In honor of April Fools' Day, Alamo Rent A Car released this press release.