Flexibility and independence is a key driving force behind many decisions we make as consumers. We regularly choose the option that offers us the most opportunity and personal transport is an industry we see this very clearly. The increasing popularity of micro-mobility and on-demand car rental vehicles around cities have grown from the convenience they offer everyday users. The same has been seen with the car rental groups at the airports. People love being able to quickly grab their own car and travel as they need to on their vacation or business trip. This has changed the car rental industry noticeably.
In many of these examples, the convenience and simplicity of quickly renting a vehicle can have users rush the important step of checking the status of the vehicle. Have you ever rented a car yourself without checking and recording all the scratches and damage around the car? A report by Zegami found that “More than a quarter (27%) say the damage had not been properly recorded by the car hire company. Nearly one in 20 (4%) say rental firms tried to blame them for damage. But it cuts both ways – two-thirds of people who have damaged rental cars while driving them in the past five years say the firm did not pick up the damage when it was returned.”
The Problems with Pen & Paper
These problems are caused by the outdated pen & paper checklists that are common practise in the rental industry, with many issues coming from this process.
- Confusing and wasteful paperwork can easily be lost, damaged or simply disappear.
- Human error makes it impossible to maintain accuracy and high standards when doing manual vehicle inspection.
- It takes time away from customers and staff. In-person inspection and the manual report afterwards can take around 30 minutes and is something that drags out the entire process.
- Poor customer experience. Completely connected to the above points, when combined makes for an experience that can be so unappealing it prevents customers from even trying.
- Unnecessary stress. For both clients and staff alike, the entire process puts unnecessary pressure on both parties to check everything perfectly to avoid mistakes and unexpected costs.
The AI Solution
These manual issues are a regular pain in a market that is expected to continue to grow. Without improvements, many existing businesses will collapse as the customer chooses convenience and simplicity over paperwork and stress. AI guided solutions, like DriveX, are combating these manual processing problems in a customer friendly way.
How AI is changing the rental industry:
- Virtual documents: vehicle inspection is done fully via your smartphone and no paper whatsoever is needed. No need to download any app either. It just opens up in a mobile browser and inspection photos can be taken right away.
- Guaranteed high-quality photos and no missed damages: when AI detects all the damages, there is no room for human error. All pictures are validated by AI (car position, image quality, right angle) ensuring high photo quality at all times.
- Quick and efficient: rental employees can record vehicle state and damages within a few minutes, because AI works fast and inspection software guides the user fast and easy through the whole inspection process. Employees do not need to spend too much of their time on mundane and manual tasks and can work on more value-adding activities.
- Great customer experience: AI powered vehicle inspection speeds up the whole rental process and doesn’t require clients to worry about mountains of paperwork.
- Instant perfect reports: Right after the inspection, a vehicle assessment and damage reports are generated and can be viewed easily on the web to get a quick overview of the vehicle.
- Stress-free solution: Clients and rental employees can rely on a neutral third party to perfectly collect all the necessary angles and information about the car. All in a simple and easy to use way.
- Instant comparison: Inspection is done before and after the rental period to determine which damages are old and which are new. AI can do the comparison within seconds.
With the growing interest in the rental space and a reliance on technology, the old processes of manually filling out paperwork is destined to be left behind. Utilising AI software to guide clients and staff through the process guarantees quality, speed and a higher rate of return business for those customers who value their time over the competitors who cannot update processes designed in the 20th century.