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Webjet rental car firm harnesses artificial intelligence

February 21, 2019 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Airport Rentals, part of the Webjet group, is claiming as an industry first its new voice-enabled car rental booking service using Alexa and Cortana, the ‘virtual assistants’ developed respectively by Amazon and Microsoft.

Airport Rentals says the innovation allows travellers to find, secure and manage their car hire through natural voice interactions on the popular voice platforms – “the modern technology that they use every day”.

By simply saying to their device “Alexa, open Airport Rentals”, the technology guides travellers through the booking process, providing personalised options for users from a selection of more than 1000 airport locations globally. Airport Rentals says the process can confirm a booking within a short conversation.

Airport Rentals head of marketing, Zaina Razzaq, said: “With more than 100 million smart speakers around the globe, the demand for voice-controlled solutions was on the rise.

“We were keen to offer people the natural, interactive booking experience they were looking for.

“Only a small number of service industry businesses around the world are using this technology, and within the car rental industry, we’re proud to pioneer it.”

Airport Rentals describes itself as a rental car broker. Its website says: “Best prices guaranteed on leading rental brands” and it then lists the logos of a stream of well-known vehicle rental companies: Ace, Advance, Alamo, Alpha, Apex, Avis, Bargain, Bliss, Budget, Dollar, Europcar, Firefly, Go Aussie, Hertz, Jucy, Keddy and Thrifty.

All bookings are subject to a free-cancellation policy (cancel with at least 72 hours’ notice and pay nothing) and customers are covered by the Airport Rentals’ ‘Good-to-Go Guarantee’, which guarantees that if the rental supplier doesn’t have the customer’s rental vehicle available, Airport Rentals will find the best alternative, covering any price difference.

Airport Rentals says it has helped more than 2.5 million travellers get to their destination over the last 14 years. It claims more than 2000 individual airport rental car sites across 150 countries and over 50,000 pick up locations.

Written by Peter Needham

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