DETROIT -- Wireless telecommunications giant Verizon today announced plans to introduce a new smartphone app that would allow rental car customers to unlock a vehicle.
The app also can offer motorists promotional offers such as in-car Wi-Fi and fuel-purchase options.
The app also will include Delphi’s in-vehicle telematics device.
Verizon Enterprise Solutions says it will launch its new service -- dubbed Verizon Auto Share -- late this year.
Mark Bartolomeo, Verizon’s chief of connected solutions, said in a written statement that the app would prove useful for car-sharing services as well as traditional rental agencies and corporate fleets.
“Industry experts note that car usership and peer-to-peer sharing via a mobile application is increasingly replacing car ownership as a core part of the connected life style -- particularly among young people,” Bartolomeo said in a written statement.
Verizon’s Auto Share appears to be similar to ZipCar’s access card.
A company official said the app will unlock the car and start it, which would allow the customer to warm up the car remotely during the winter. But the customer can't use it to operate the car, and will still need a key fob, which the rental agency presumably would stash inside.