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Avis’ New App is a Giant Leap Forward

Use it to check out, exchange, or return cars.

Avis Now, the re-launched app for the world’s second largest car rental brand, is a big step forward for the industry, which has been notoriously slow to adopt new technology.

Drivers can see what vehicles are available before they arrive to the lot and exchange or upgrade their car without having to go to the customer service desk. They can also use it to lock and unlock doors, or flash the car’s lights to help them find it in a parking lot or garage—a handy feature that was first rolled out by Zipcar, which the company acquired in 2013.

The Avis app also gives a real-time reading of fuel levels and mileage, and has a roadside assistance feature. That means no more paper printouts, and less human interaction. In the coming months, Avis plans to roll out more in-app features for connected car tech that will allow voice commands and satellite radio controls.

Avis Budget Group CEO Larry De Shon tells Fortune, “We’ve put the entire rental experience into an app. Customers can do pretty much everything from their phones.”

The one thing they still can’t do? Use it to drive the car—for now.

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