At some point or another, most of us have had to rent a car. Whether for a vacation, business trip, move, or some other temporary period, it’s essential. Especially given often weak and unreliable public transportation.
The only trouble occurs when you decline the insurance coverage… only to see the car get dinged in a parking lot or on the street when you weren’t even there.
Stress – and a liability dispute, leading to a potentially hefty bill – ensues.
Luckily, another new technology is helping to ease the worry.
Your Car’s Passive Policeman
The DropTag Drive is a small sensor that adheres to the windshield and basically acts as passive “surveillance” on the car while you’re not around.
Specifically, it monitors for any impact or accelerations from surrounding vehicles, and will send the data to the driver and rental car company via a linked smartphone app. The windshield acts as a natural amplifier to what’s happening on the car, meaning the device can detect very low instances of damage, such as scratching.
The device comes from Cambridge Consultants, whose product manager, Tom Lawrie-Fussey, explains, “We’ve probably all had the situation where we’re returning the hire car and you have that uncertainty of ‘are they going to spot something that you haven’t seen on the body.’ It’s just the unknown of what’s going to happen. DropTag Drive basically removes that. You have an app and at all times while you’re using the car, you can ‘interrogate’ the condition of the car via the app.”
In fact, the sensor is so perceptive, it can even pick up on an impact to the car at speeds of just one to two miles per hour.
Lawrie-Fussey continues, “Often, those sorts of impacts don’t actually cause any damage to the car, but that’s the level at which we’re able to sense. Because of the way we’re mounting the device, because the device itself is so light and so small, we’re able to have really a much better view of what’s going on with the car. We can go to a much higher level of resolution, of sensitivity, to see things that – as far as we’re aware – nothing else can really get close to.”
Take a look…
In trials so far, DropTag Drive has proved successful on several vehicles. And it means the device is now being offered to various car rental companies in an effort to save costly liability disputes and ease post-rental hassle for both renters and rental firms.