I posted last week about Hertz adding a remarkable 350,000 new vehicles to their fleet over the 2015 model year. But, after reading this article as reported by Fusion, I’m thinking that one of the reasons that they are adding so many cars is that they might be also putting cameras with their NeverLost systems into all these new cars. In the article, the writer explains that Hertz has cameras in their some of their rental cars but, what for?
Hertz Has Cameras In Rental Cars But, What For?
According to the Fusion article, “Hertz has offered the NeverLost navigational device for years, but it only added the built-in camera feature (which includes audio and video) to its latest version of the device — NeverLost 6 — in mid-2014. “Approximately a quarter of our vehicles across the country have a NeverLost unit and slightly more than half of those vehicles have the NeverLost 6 model installed,” Hertz spokesperson Evelin Imperatrice said by email. In other words, one in 8 Hertz cars has a camera inside — but Imperatrice says that, for now, they are inactive. “We do not have adequate bandwidth capabilities to the car to support streaming video at this time,” she said.”
People are getting a little freaked out by the fact that they may or may not be videotaped while they are driving their Hertz rental cars.
As posted on Flyertalk, “A loyal Hertz customer who rented a car in Chicago said it might make them never want to rent with Hertz again:”
The system can’t be turned off from what I could tell. Further investigation revealed that the camera can see the entire inside of the car. I know rental car companies have been tracking the speed and movements of their vehicles for years but putting a camera inside the cabin of the vehicle is taking their need for information a little TOO FAR. I find this to be completely UNACCEPTABLE. In fact, if I get another car from Hertz with a camera in it, I will move our business from Hertz completely.
Hertz explains that they have the cameras in case in the future, they want to “activate live agent connectivity to customers by video.” You know, in case of an accident or if the car is broken down, you would be able to live chat with a Hertz agent.
This story is sounds a little creepy and big brother if you ask me. If I got in my rental car and there was a camera in my face, I think I would definitely put a post-it note over the camera. What do you think? Should rental car companies have video cameras in their cars?