An innovative device developed by Cambridge Consultants could sound the death knell for arguments over damage to hire cars. The technology firm has patented a handy little device called a DropTag which acts as a monitor and senses vehicle accelerations, decelerations and impacts.
DropTags affix to the windscreens of vehicles and transmit data via Bluetooth to linked android devices. Tags are permanently open and transmit data in real-time which both the driver and car rental companies are able to access with a dedicated app.
Cambridge Consultants claims DropTags can monitor speeds as low as two miles-per-hour and this will show whether the damaged vehicle was stationary or moving at the time of the collision. When drivers return hire vehicles to depots and if no impacts have been recorded, the tag will inform drivers they can park up and go.
The DropTag will also trigger a beacon at the depot telling staff that the vehicle has been returned and whether or not it has been damaged. Cambridge Consultants DropTag product-manager Tom Lawrie-Fussey said the gadgets will do away with anxious waits while hire firm staff check returned vehicles for the slightest scratches.
Lawrie-Fussey noted that the tags would act as a spy for vehicles and instantly arbitrate disagreements over who or what caused any damage. Cambridge Consultants says the tags are reusable and could last more than 12 months before they need replacing. The firm noted that bulk-buying DropTags could enable hire-firms to monitor each of their vehicles for just £1 a month.