Lockboxes: a new way to access cars in the Car Next Door fleet

Lockboxes: a new way to access cars in the Car Next Door fleet

We’re introducing a new way to access share cars

If you’ve hired a car through Car Next Door, you’ll be familiar with the swipe-and-drive procedure using “Fred”.

We’ve now introduced a new way to access cars. (In fact it’s so new that it’s a world first, and our patent application is pending.)

Let us introduce Fred the LockBoxer. He’s small, dark and handsome – a very strong, small, tamper-proof lockbox that slips over the window and is opened by a code.

The keys are stored inside, and borrowers get an SMS with a one-time code to access the vehicle before their booking starts.

You can find out how it works in this short video.

We still use GPS in every car to track its location and distance travelled, and to report on excessive speed or torque (i.e. bad driving).

Why are we doing this?
The old Fred was snazzy, but really expensive. He also needed to be installed by an auto-electrician – and those guys don’t come cheap.

At some point, those costs are going to have to feed into the rates you pay. We want to keep costs down so that Car Next Door is affordable for everyone.

Fred the Lockboxer is strong, reliable, maintenance-free, and doesn’t need professional installation.

Fred v.1 worked well most of the time. But Car Next Door operates with regular people’s cars. And, like regular people, these cars are all different. For some cars, wiring in a new device can interfere with the electrical systems.

Fred also needs to be in constant communication with the booking platform, which can cause problems if a car goes out of mobile reception range (like into an underground car park).

For these reasons, we were finding that about 5% of the time Fred v.1 would not work properly, leaving cars unresponsive and borrowers frustrated. The new Fred the LockBoxer will bring those issues as close to zero as possible.

Have any questions?
If you’re interested in finding out more about the new car entry system, please watch this video on everything you need to know about how Car Next Door works.

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