Finding connection in a contactless world

May 18, 2023 4 min read

Getaround Connect® helps hosts commit to their guests’ safety and convenience with the industry’s only mobile-first, proprietary, and integrated hardware-software solution built for car sharing.

COVID has shown that it’s more important than ever for businesses (and business owners) to offer customers solutions that are not only convenient and easy-to-use, but can also address safety concerns in the age of social distancing.

Grocery stores and pharmacies have adopted curbside pickup, food delivery services have added contactless delivery options and many fast food and casual dining restaurants have used mobile app integrations and installed new technology to help create contactless ordering and dining experiences their patrons demand.

And in the carsharing industry, customers are seeking similar solutions — and Getaround is ahead of the curve.

For the past 8 years, Getaround® has offered hosts and guests the convenience of contactless sharing. Our guests can use their Android or iOS phones, and the Getaround app, to find, book, and unlock a car, truck, or van near them … and they can do it all safely and conveniently thanks to Getaround Connect.

What is Getaround Connect®?

The Getaround Connect device
The Getaround Connect device

Getaround Connect is an electronic hardware device installed in all Getaround cars that provides GPS tracking, anti-theft functionality, and cellular communications to a secure network for the purpose of car sharing.

Using the Getaround iPhone or Android app, hosts and verified guests can lock and unlock the doors of Getaround cars. By automating the reservation, inspection, trip and return for customers, Getaround Connect gets guests on the road as quickly as possible, and lets hosts conduct the entire transaction from the comfort of their own home. The entire process is contactless, from start to finish.

So how does it work?

A host leaves a spare pair of keys in their car’s glove box, center console, branded visor pouch (if supplied), or in a lockbox, and locks the car from their smartphone. Getaround Connect can leave the car immobilized between rentals through the Enhanced Security feature.

Locking a car on the app

The host is notified via push notification and email (with trip details) when a guest has booked their car. During sign-up and prior to being able to make their first reservation, the guest’s driver's license and identity documents are then checked automatically and verified manually by the Getaround team if needed.

Verifying a guest's identity

Once booking has been confirmed, a guest will receive the car’s real-time parked location 15 minutes before the start of their reservation time.

Showing the car's real-time location

In order to unlock the vehicle and start their trip, the guest completes a quick digital inspection using the Getaround application, including taking 4 photos from the exterior of the vehicle, noting any issues with the interior and reporting any previously-existing damage.

Conducting a digital inspection

The guest can then unlock the car from their phone and begin their trip. If Enhanced Security is enabled, the immobilizer is released and the guest can start the car any time during their trip.

Unlocking with smartphone

Once the trip is complete, the guest returns the key to the glove box, lock box, or other location specified by the host, and completes a brief post-trip inventory (with photos). The guest can end the trip and lock the car doors all with their smartphone thanks to our Connect device . If Enhanced Security is enabled, the car is also immobilized.

Ending a trip as a guest

Hardware installation

To be able to onboard your car and accept Getaround reservations, a host’s car must first meet eligibility requirements and then be equipped with the Getaround Connect device. Installation usually takes 1 to 2 hours and is carried out by trained and qualified technicians. It’s simple, relatively non-invasive, and has no impact on your vehicle’s performance. Getaround Connect has been reliably installed in tens of thousands of cars in North America and a vast majority of vehicle makes and models are supported, with new models added soon after they are released.

Once the device is installed, hosts will receive instructions via email to activate their car, and a member of the Getaround team will make sure everything is working as expected. Then, once Connect is equipped and the car is listed, it’s time for hosts to make money sharing your car!

Other benefits and features

While creating a contactless transaction is a primary benefit for both guests and hosts, there’s even more that this proprietary technology can do for guests and hosts. In addition to offering guests and hosts the ability to complete car sharing transactions without in-person key handoffs, Getaround Connect comes with even more advantages, including:

  • Real-time mileage, fuel, and battery level monitoring: Helps hosts and guests keep track of key levels and readings to make sure there are no surprises before, during or after a trip takes place.
  • Towing: Integration with the Connect lets Getaround know when a car is being towed and helps to connect with third-party towing services when a disabled vehicle needs to be towed.
  • Tolling: Third party integrations and high fidelity GPS can confirm when tolls occur and direct tolls electronically to hosts or guests and bill the applicable party upon notification.

Contactless doesn’t have to mean disconnected. Getaround Connect helps hosts and guests connect and share cars in an easy, safe and convenient way. Apply to list your car today, and see why sharing a car with Getaround can work for you.