Hertz offers the NeverLost service as an add-on for car renters. Recently, Hertz customers were concerned that they saw cameras and microphones in some Hertz rental cars with the the latest version of NeverLost 6. Hertz responded by stating that the cameras are not working and that they may be activated in the future with permission of Hertz car renters.
Forum members were concerned that they are being watched by Hertz. Currently, driver-facing cameras are in 12% of Hertz vehicles. However, Hertz has not activated the cameras for which there is not enough bandwidth.
A Hertz spokesperson said that the cameras are inoperable, the units were an upgrade purchased for touchscreen features.
NeverLost6 uses Magellan SmartGPS OS with the Magellan cloud-based platform. The new units will eventually have video conferencing capabilities for car occupants to communicate with a Hertz rep.
Currently, customers who are concerned can turn the camera towards the dash to avoid looking at the people in the car.
With NeverLost, Hertz car renters can plan trips online and access them from a NeverLost in a Hertz rental car. NeverLost Concierge offers live concierge operators to help search for destinations, build custom trips, and send route information directly to NeverLost.
If and when Hertz enables the video features, customers will have the option to activate the feature with a touchscreen. The video conferencing is expected to be similar to the Kindle Fire tablet Mayday button to connected to an Amazon Tech adviser.
Hertz NeverLost is subject to availability and cost US $13.99/day or CAD $15.99/day. Online Trip Planning (OTP) is only available in the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico, and Mexico.
A camera watching the driver can be valuable in case of a driver not paying attention or falling asleep such as the case with the Anti Snoozer app that works with a camera. A camera can also be helped in the case of an emergency.
If Hertz were to deploy the cameras, if someone is injured and the first responders can not get into the car, the camera and mic could be used to communicate with an injured person and or for medical personnel to see the condition of the injured person.
The Hertz Cameras could be used to see if drivers are keeping their eyes on the road or if they are falling asleep. Often car renters drive long distances in unfamiliar areas. If a camera detects a drowsy driver it would be helpful to avoid crashes. Seeing Machines and Takata are working with the first major automaker to offer a driver-monitoring system that will warn drivers of lapses in attention, reducing the risk of potentially fatal accidents.
In concept cars of the future, video conferencing such as the one seen in a video at the Connected Car Expo at the LA Auto Show.
KPMG’s Me My Car My Life video shows a romance enhanced by in-car functions of the future with the virtual video husband showing his love for his wife projected on the windshield. Beth replies “Pick me up at 6:30.”
Traveling in a Hertz rental car, with a camera may enable renters to talk to their spouses from their rental cars, in the future.