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Zipcar CEO talks mobile app improvements, predicts connected vehicle future

Nicole Lee, @nicole
10.10.12
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We wondered why Zipcar CEO Scott Griffith was slated as a keynote presenter at CTIA's MobileCon -- after all, what does renting cars have to do with mobile? Apparently, quite a lot. Griffith stated in his keynote that Zipcar's app and mobile services have taken a much more central role in the organization. The company is developing its own in-car device holder so that customers can hook up their phones for hands-free functions, and more importantly, the Zipcar smartphone app is due for a major update. The current version can be used to schedule rentals and remote unlock vehicles, but future iterations will transform it into more of an "in-car assistant." It'll let you know more information about the car, help you around town with a personal recommendation service, stream your iTunes playlist, and detailed trip feedback like fuel-levels and car conditions will be far easier to report. Zipcar hopes to add new members through the app as well -- just take a photo of your driver's license and get an approval "in minutes." According to Griffith, the connected car will change our urban landscape, especially with the combination of services like Lyft, Uber, bike sharing, and public transit. It's not quite the flying car, but the nerd in us is sufficiently pleased.

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