Zipcar has begun offering vehicle management service Local Motion to government fleets to improve their motor pool operations through keyless fleet sharing in the same way Zipcar manages its 12,000 vehicles and over 1 million members, said Adrian Albus, director of business innovation and strategy for Zipcar.
When Local Motion first launched as a tech startup, the company aimed to bring the efficiencies of the sharing economy to enterprise and government entities. With employees sharing vehicles in an efficient way, fleets could potentially reduce the number of vehicles they maintain.
Employees can make reservations online through desktop, iOS, or Android and, when it’s time, employees can scan their RFID-enabled badge on the Local Motion hardware, to unlock the vehicle. But the most unique feature is the product’s “Tap & Go” functionality, allowing users on-demand access to a vehicle by scanning their RFID-enabled badge on any available car without booking. The service eliminates the need for a key box, motor pool attendant, and paperwork.
The Local Motion hardware also functions as a telematics device. It tracks vehicle location and usage so that managers have the information needed to make decisions about utilization and right-sizing.
Zipcar acquired the startup last year and relaunched the product in February. Albus said little about the product has changed. The main difference with the relaunched Local Motion is its service.
With Zipcar integration, customers are offered holistic solutions from Zipcar’s entire offering. Before, the service would allow fleets to get rid of extra vehicles by having employees share. Now, Zipcar takes the service a step further. If a fleet has a rarely used vehicle, they can sell it and rent a Zipcar when they do need it, Albus said.
Local Motion is compatible with mixed fleets as well. The product supports a variety of vehicle types, including sedans, utility trucks, electric vehicles, and golf carts.
Zipcar is also working to transition its customers to Local Motion from FastFleet, which was Zipcar's motor pool management solution before the acquisition.
“Many of Local Motion’s features, including Tap & Go, RFID integration with employee ID badges, next generation GPS tracking, and fuel monitoring, were features that had been on FastFleet’s roadmap for a long time — so being able to offer those features immediately to current and new customers was a top business priority post-acquisition.”
Albus also said that Zipcar plans to examine the broader application of the Local Motion software and hardware for its own day-to-day operations. “We have nearly one million car sharing members and are always looking for ways to improve member experience and enable simple and responsible urban living,” he said.
Since its relaunch, Albus said that Zipcar has implemented the Local Motion product for six customers and the company hopes to double that number by the end of the year.