Zipcar Control with New iPhone App

As we previously reported, more and more U.S. and Canada cities are joining the car-sharing program, in the attempt of making a more efficient and less polluting approach to driving.San Francisco, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto are developing serious car-sharing programs inspired by the European model.

Therefore, Apple turned its attention to the leader in North American car-sharing services, Zipcar.

At the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) held yesterday, the new Zipcar application was announced, coming as an improved version of the Zipcar widget on the WHERE app for the iPhone and iPod Touch.

The Zipcar iPhone application allows users to find, reserve and control zipcars from their phone, as related by Gizmodo. The application shows all Zipcar locations nearby in an embedded Goggle Maps map, which is pretty much the same with the WHERE app features.

In addition, it's now possible to find the car by honking the horn remotely and unlocking the doors through iPhone. The use of these two features still remains under the question mark for us, as we can only think of it as just another way to annoy passersbys by playing with the horn from a distance.

Just think that Zipcar has about 225,000 members and 5,500 vehicles throughout 26 North American states and provinces as well as in London, England. The use of less cars may reduce pollution, but remote honking can add up to the disturbing noise increase.

As for the car-sharing service, members can reserve a vehicle online or via a mobile device, use a smartcard (and now their phones) to open the doors, take their trip, and then return the car at the end of the reservation. An hourly or daily fee covers gas, insurance, maintenance, parking and a 24-7 emergency service.
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