• Sep 30th 2009 at 9:03AM
  • 10
If nothing else, the big news of the day is that your iPhone can now make cars honk. Why an iPhone app should be able to honk a car's horn is almost beyond us. Almost. We can think of one reason for the unique feature, and it has to do with getting ready for a new phase in personal transportation: since Zipcar is all about car sharing, and Zipcar users will often be using one of many cars, having it beep allows you to remember, "oh, right, I'm in the MINI today." The key fob would, of course, work just as well, but it's not as flashy as using your phone.

The horn honking feature is part of the newly-released Zipcar App, which makes finding, reserving and controlling your Zipcar possible through the iPhone (and, over WiFi, the iPod touch). The controls are not as cool as Dr. Horrible's little app in the sing-along blog, but you can do more than honk. You can lock and unlock the car as well. The app wont' be able to unlock any car in the system – you still need to scan your Zipcard to start the reservation; only then is the app able to honk that horn. The App is free and available now in iTunes. You can take a tour here.

What we haven't seen in this app, but what would be a good idea, is a Google Maps feature that simply shows you where your automobile is. Also not as notable as the honking thing, but much more practical.

[Source: Zipcar]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 8 Months Ago
      CORRECTION: the key/key fob is kept IN the Zipcar and never leaves the vehicle. The vehicle is locked and unlocked via a credit card sized card that you swipe over a reader on the windshield, so having the ability to lock/unlock the car and honk the horn remotely is quite useful. I live in San Francisco and have been a Zipcar member for the last two years and I think it's the greatest thing. Parking is guaranteed, gas and insurance is included in the rental, no paperwork, no car rental company messiness, the vehicles are ALL OVER the city, and I can book the reservation straight from my iPhone. Zipcar Co. takes the hit on depreciation and I have access to vehicles from Minis to Volvos to BMWs or even SUVs or trucks if I ever needed them. It's a phenomenal service and I look forward to Zipcar deploying plug-in electric vehicles over the next couple years as well! Oh yeah: and the singles mixer parties for Zipcar members are cool, too!
      • 8 Months Ago
      I'm not sure how zipcar actually works.
      But it would be cool if you could simply leave it anywhere in a defined area - maybe incurring extra charges for leaving it in less central areas.
      Maybe incurring a savings if you recover a car from a less central area.
      Software onboard the car would also need to keep track of fuel if they charge extra for that.
      Then you could simply leave the car and it would log back in as ready.
      I could come along with my iphone (or whatever) and ask for the vehicle type I wanted closest to where I actually am.
      Then chose a car from the list and it would reserve it and start my billing.
      Then - when I get within a short distance from the car honk the horn and flash the lights so I can see exactly where it is.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Nothing more green than being able to honk a horn from your iphone.

      This crap belongs on Engadget, not ABG.
      • 8 Months Ago
      Sounds like a neat little safety feature to me. Walking to the car in a dark lot before you get your hands on the actual keys..... another honking success story from Zipcar....
      • 8 Months Ago
      Yesterday i unlocked my 3gs iphone and i was wondering if that is safe to do ? The iphone is unlocked but is it safe to use ? I used www.unlock-iphone.org . It worked fine ,now i can use any sim card from any network and i can download hundrets of top iphone aplications for free but please tell me if is safe.
      • 8 Months Ago
      I wish the had it all over the world. Car rental in Italy is very expensive and you even pay per km. ZipCar sounds like a really cool thing.
      • 8 Months Ago
      The app allows you to honk the horn to help blind drivers find the car...wait. Really it would be more helpful to flash the blinkers too, so you can see which Prius in the line you're supposed to get into.
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