January 24, 2022

How Coastr drives a digital future for mobility players in vehicle rentals

Winona Rajamohan

Content Marketing Manager

Coastr’s vehicle rental software integrated with Smartcar to enable keyless car entry so vehicle rental operators can offer their customers a contactless car rental experience.

The mobility sector is witnessing rapid expansion despite the pandemic, pushing traditional vehicle rentals companies to innovate faster. Coastr is an all-in-one digital solution built to help vehicle rental businesses digitize their bookings and fleet operations, connect to end customers, and grow their business faster with additional 3rd party integrations.

Coastr’s integration with Smartcar democratizes keyless car entry capability, making the transition to contactless car rentals cost-effective for all types of vehicle rental operators.

With Smartcar’s API, Coastr uses a single software-based integration to connect vehicle rental operators with connected cars across multiple car brands. The partnership will enable the delivery of more smart and connected mobility technology in the near future, which is a critical need in the vehicle rental industry. “Smartcar is helping Coastr achieve our company’s mission by supplying technology to enable the integration of Coastr’s services with our app and connected cars,” said Biswajit Kundu Roy, CEO at Coastr.

Consumer needs for car rentals are changing

A global shortage of new vehicles in 2021 has reduced customer confidence in car rentals despite a 230% increase in interest from 2019’s pre-pandemic holiday season. But there are other factors impeding satisfaction toward car rentals, such as the lack of on-demand vehicle availability, lengthy booking processes, and bad customer service.

This would come as no surprise to Coastr, the car rental software that was founded from a passion to make rentals more convenient and accessible. As an avid traveler, Kundu Roy describes uncomfortable car rental encounters to be “very much the norm.”

To build a better car rental experience for the future, Coastr turned to cutting-edge technology to bridge some of the systemic gaps in the rental ecosystem — clunky customer experiences, legacy technologies, unorganized inventories, and fragmented operational data. The company also highlights the need to modernize vehicle rental operations with connected mobility solutions like Smartcar's car API platform to maximize the business value.

How Coastr deploys contactless car rentals

The competition for consumer interest — especially in a mobility space with no shortage of options — calls for rental operators to integrate connected cars into their fleets for real-time vehicle data and instantaneous communication with vehicles.

Coastr uses Artificial Intelligence and connected mobility solutions to help vehicle rental businesses offer accessible options for customers in real-time and increase booking rates. Using Smartcar’s API, Coastr communicates with vehicles through the cloud to remotely and securely provide travelers with a rental vehicle in pick-up locations that are more convenient for them. This reduces operating costs for small businesses to offer services in new locations and shortens wait times for travelers with less flexible schedules.

A seamless user experience for vehicle rental operators using the Coastr app

Lock & unlock rental cars with Smartcar

To build a future-ready contactless rental software, Coastr was on a search for a connected mobility partner that was compatible with a wide range of vehicle brands. They came across solutions that required hardware to enable contactless rentals but ultimately decided that Smartcar’s API would be the best choice to implement keyless entries easily and quickly to more cars.

“We at Coastr believe that everything can be API-enabled in the future,” Kundu Roy said. “With Smartcar, we found the perfect partner to help us deliver our vision of making vehicle rentals contactless and convenient.”

The onboarding of fleets onto the Smartcar platform via Coastr is simple and seamless. Rental operators connect their vehicles to Smartcar through the “Coastr for Partners” mobile app. With a few clicks, they are taken to the Smartcar Connect authorization flow, where they can choose to give Smartcar permission to access vehicle data — in this case, the permission to lock and unlock car doors with a simple API request for contactless rentals.

“One of our customers is using our Smartcar-powered product to enable contactless rentals to prevent customers from standing in queues, and to provide 24/7 rentals,” Kundu Roy said. “This helps them save time and effort having to be present with customers for them to start booking.”

Powering connected rental ecosystems with pinpoint data

Beyond keyless entry with Smartcar, car connectivity has helped Coastr locate stolen vehicles, immobilize vehicles to prevent theft, enable predictive maintenance, and develop data-driven commercial fleet insurance for fleet operators

As the demand for car rentals continues to soar, telematics data empowers secure and sustainable rental businesses that ensure vehicle safety, boost customer satisfaction and optimize business operations costs — all while reducing the carbon footprint of travel transportation in a 100% paperless environment.

Visit Coastr’s website to learn more about their new-age car rental software.

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