It was only a matter of time before Zipcar released a tricked-out iPhone app. After all, 27% of all members of the car-sharing service own an iPhone, and the built-in wireless technology installed in every Zipcar is just begging to be exploited. And the app, released today, exploits that wireless GSM network to its fullest.
Zipcar’s free app shows Zipcar locations nearby, allows customers to filter through available vehicle models, reserve a car on the phone, unlock a vehicle, and even make the horn on a rented car honk. Members still need to use their Zipcard, however, to get a hold of the car keys, located inside of the vehicle.
According to Luke Schneider, Zipcar’s CTO, the app has been in development for about three months. “We have 30 make/model combos in our fleet, and we wanted to make sure each make and model was integrated properly with the vehicles,” he explained. So far, the app has been a raging success, with 30,000 downloads since its release yesterday. Next up: bringing the Zipcar application to other mobile platforms.
Soon enough, iPhone apps that control car functions might be commonplace–Nissan is also working on an app to help customers control services for their plug-in vehicles.