Hertz speeds up car rentals with biometric scan technology

Hertz has teamed up with biometric security company Clear for a new system designed to speed up the car rental process.

Called “Hertz Fast Lane,” the system dispenses with the requirement that customers show physical ID at a counter and instead uses cameras and scanners for face and fingerprint recognition.

As you’d expect, it’s a pretty straightforward process. The customer drives the car to the exit where they’re given the option of having their face scanned or fingerprints read. A video (above) demonstrating the system shows a customer driving to the Hertz exit gate where she has her face scanned. Once the records have made a match, the gate lifts and off she drives.

Another video shows the one-time enrollment process, which involves having both of your hands scanned by a Clear machine at select Hertz centers, as well as having your face photographed. The registration process can also be completed online.

Hertz claims the system “drastically” speeds up the rental process and can get travelers “through the exit gate and on the road in 30 seconds or less — a time savings of at least 75 percent.” By that calculation, the regular rental process only takes a couple of minutes, so unless you’re really pressed for time, some folks might question how much difference it’s likely to make to their day.

Hertz Fast Lane can be used by Hertz Gold Plus Rewards members and is already up and running in at Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport, with plans to roll out the system to more than 40 additional Hertz locations, among them Los Angeles International Airport and New York City’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

Commenting on the launch of Hertz Fast Lane, CEO Kathryn V. Marinello said the company is excited about using the technology to get its customers on the road more quickly, at the same time claiming that it “sets a new standard for frictionless travel.”

Clear CEO Caryn Seidman-Becker said her company is intent on “creating a future in which your fingerprints, eyes, and face are your best and most secure ID,” adding, “When our members travel, they enjoy greater speed and predictability at airports and sporting events, so they can focus more time on doing what they love.”

Biometric technology is being used more and more for customer identification that helps to speed up security procedures. Airports and banks, for example, are beginning to incorporate it in a range of operations, while smartphone makers are using fingerprint and face recognition to unlock handsets. Other methods include voice recognition and even reading people’s so-called “heart print.”

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