Your smartphone can now open a car thanks to new City Car Club app

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Your smartphone can now open a car thanks to new City Car Club app
Your smartphone can now open a car thanks to new City Car Club app

A new app that has been developed for the City Car Club provides members with a new booking system at their fingertips. You can plan a booking, get directions to the closest vehicle, extend booking and even lock or unlock the car, all through this handy app.

If you aren’t familiar with the name City Car Club, it is the largest car sharing organisation in the UK and boasts more than 29,000 members. Vans and cars are available in over 16 cities in Britain, and can be rented on the street for only £4.95 per hour, and that includes fuel. This gives both residents and businesses a really good value alternative to owning their own car.

In order to drive a City Car Club vehicle, members must make a booking online. They then gain access to the vehicle by swiping their membership smart card over the telematics hardware located in the left corner of the windscreen. This then relays a message back to City Car Clubs vehicle management system confirming the members booking and unlocking the vehicle.

The addition of the app streamlines the booking process by allowing members to find, book, locate, and unlock the vehicle all from within the app.

The main difficulty Parallax faced when building this app was integrating it with City Car Club’s very complex vehicle management system that tells the cars when they are booked and who should be able to access them. The solution was to write a bespoke API that handles all of the booking information on a separate intermediary server, which then passes on all the relevant information to their system quickly and securely. 

Lawrence Dudley, Director of Parallax said “We’ve created a great app which should help making car sharing that little bit quicker and easier when you’re out and about. Given that each City Car Club car helps to take 24 privately owned cars off the road, we’d like to think that alongside them, we’re helping the environment out too.”

The functionality of the app allows City Car Club members to:

– Unlock/lock the vehicle using just the app 
– Locate their nearest available vehicle
– Notifications to alert members when their booking is due to start
– Live directions to their booked vehicle
– Extending a booking for a little extra time

The app is available to download from the app store, click here to find it. Android app currently in development.

For more information about City Car Club and our app visit us at citycarclub.co.uk or view our video here.