WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J., Feb. 6, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- I.D. Systems, Inc. (IDSY), a leading provider of wireless solutions for securing, tracking and managing high-value enterprise assets, has been awarded United States patent number 8,370,268 for a wireless, fully automated, remotely controlled vehicle rental system.
The patented system enables a renter to reserve a vehicle via the Internet or a Smartphone, confirm a specific vehicle's availability in real time by means of a wireless device inside the vehicle, automatically unlock the vehicle's doors with a remote authorization signal, and return the vehicle without the aid of any other person.
This is I.D. Systems' second patent award pertaining specifically to wireless rental car management. The company's first patent application for an automated vehicle rental system was filed in 1999, and the company currently has multiple related patent applications pending.
I.D. Systems has deployed its rental vehicle management technology for Avis Budget Group on approximately 30,000 vehicles in North America, as reported in November, 2012. As part of the contract between the companies, announced in August, 2011, Avis Budget also acquired an approximately 9% equity stake in I.D. Systems.
I.D. Systems expects that the newly awarded patent will help it further penetrate the rental car market and serve as a barrier to competition.
"We are very excited to be awarded this patent," said Jeffrey Jagid, I.D. Systems' chairman and CEO. "We envision consumers taking more control of their own car rental experience, and rental companies enjoying significant cost savings and revenue enhancements through wireless automation of their operations. This is starting to happen already, with virtual, remote rentals constituting the fastest-growing segment of the rental car industry. We believe our patented technology will be a cornerstone in revolutionizing this industry, just as electronic ticketing and check-in transformed the airline industry."
I’ve read the patent, and it really does seem that ZIP and Hertz are using the system it describes. Take a look. In claims 1 and 9, the device with which a renter enters the car isn’t even stipulated--it could be an RFID card, a smartphone, whatever. The “internet or cellular connection” is the 2-way connection between the renter and central command on the one hand, and central command and the car on the other.
IDSY’s getting this patent is very significant news. Hertz will definitely want it.
And by the way, the date on the patent is February 5, 2013, so the company made the announcement the day after the patent was granted.
1. A method for renting a vehicle, the method comprising: receiving a request for reservation from a user for a rental vehicle for a desired rental time via an internet or cellular connection; automatically determining by an on-board device of the rental vehicle availability of the rental vehicle upon receiving the request, wherein the availability is determined based on vehicle information as to the condition for rental of the rental vehicle for the desired rental time; automatically communicating the availability of the rental vehicle from the on-board device of the rental vehicle to a central control station; providing the availability of the rental vehicle to the user via the internet or cellular connection; reserving the rental vehicle for the user via the internet or cellular connection based on the availability; receiving at a vehicle controller of the rental vehicle an access authorization signal from the central control station; and transmitting from the vehicle controller to the rental vehicle's electronics an entry authorization signal instructing the rental vehicle's electronics to open one or more doors of the rental vehicle permitting the user to enter the rental vehicle.
9. A vehicle rental system comprising: a plurality of rental vehicles, each of the plurality of rental vehicles having an on-board device that automatically determines availability of a rental vehicle, wherein the determination is made upon receiving a request for reservation from a user for a rental vehicle of the plurality of rental vehicles, wherein the availability is determined based on vehicle information as to the condition for rental of a rental vehicle for a desired rental time, and wherein the on-board device automatically communicates availability to a central control station computer, the central control station computer providing rental vehicle the availability to the user and reserving a rental vehicle for the user based on the availability and via an internet or cellular connection; and a processor configured to enable the user to access the reserved rental vehicle; wherein the processor is configured to allow the user to access the reserved rental vehicle upon receiving an access authorization signal; and wherein the request for reservation is for the desired rental time and is made via an internet of cellular connection.
every car sharing company is using that patent. ZIP has ZERO approved patents and 10 pending patents. Avis has ZERO patents as well. Enterprise has a bunch. Eileo (owned by Hertz) has a bunch.
IDSY should sue ZIP. Not even a question in my mind
Is this a shot across the bow of Avis/ZIP? This leads me to believe that negotiations have broken down and IDSY will seek royalties from Avis/ZIP, Hertz, Enterprise, etc.
does it signal to the other rental companies (Hertz, Enterprise) that the non-compete is over and they should come talk to IDSY?
Do they not have any sales news to stem the slide in the stock price?
Or is this just to remind everyone what they did for Avis?
I think this is a shot across the bow of Avis. The PR on their web site has the Avis/CAR ticker, but the PR on wires does not. If you do a headlines on IDSY you see this PR, but you don't see it for Avis/CAR. So this was not condoned by Avis.
Let the fighting begin. about time Jagid showed some cajones. I hope the BOD is putting a world of pressure on him.