What else would you like to be able to summon as easily as hailing an Uber or Lyft car? How about streamlining the whole car-rental hassle? That’s what French startup Virtuo is launching at three train stations and two airports in Paris, according to TechCrunch. The Virtuo fleet is made up exclusively of Mercedes-Benz A-Class sedans, all with Bluetooth, automatic transmissions, and navigation systems.
As of now, if you get off a train at Gare du Nord, Gare de Lyon, or Gare Montparnasse, or a plane at Charles de Gaulle and Ille-de-la-Madeleine airports, you can use Virtuo. The Paris Orly and Nice Cote d’Azur airports are coming online in the next few weeks.
“The car-rental experience within train stations and airports is painful and full of friction, and major car-rental companies are failing to meet new travelers’ expectations,” says Virtuo co-founder Karim Kaddoura. “We created a 100 percent mobile and hassle-free car rental service: from registration to the locking/unlocking of your car, every step of the experience is done through the app, allowing you to skip the counter and hit the road within minutes.”
According to the Virtuo app, it only takes 5 minutes to set up your account. You scan your license and ID with your smartphone’s camera and use facial recognition to verify you’re who you say you are. Then enter your credit card info, and you’re good to go.
Once you’re in the system, you’re given directions to the Virtuo parking facility, where you download a digital key to unlock your rental car. You’ll also receive a detailed car inspection report and if you notice anything not in the report, just take photos of the dings and scratches and upload them through the app before you start the trip. While you’re on your tri,p the app tracks your fuel consumption and mileage. If you need help along, the way an app chat feature lets you talk with customer service.