Blog: Stepping up the car rental mobile application user experience

You can shape a better future by implementing some of the greatest features in your app. Here’s a stunning example of how you can put it into practice. Recently we’ve built an ultimate car rental mobile application as a proof of concept. Now we want to share the best practices and ideas we’ve implemented in this app with you.

Watch the following video to learn more about the approach we can use to develop a similar amazing application for you. We can integrate any of these proven solutions to build the mobile app according to your business needs.

Let’s take a look at the technologies we needed to power this application.

Wireless Data Transfer

You may have seen in the video that our lucky car rental customer got the information about the car that was passing by. Here’s how this magic works: we place the Bluetooth Low Energy tags inside the rental cars. For example, Automatic Pro uses the same approach by integrating their smart car monitoring sensors into various vehicles. We use ultra-compact DB Best branded Bluetooth tags (less than one inch in diameter). One can easily fit them under the hood of any car.

The mobile application, running on the customer’s smartphone, establishes a seamless connection with these Bluetooth transmitters and obtains a certain code. Then we connect to the application server and download the information related to the car nearby. We implemented this solution several times already: starting from building an augmented reality event application.

Using standard Bluetooth technology at the core of wireless transmitters allows avoiding compatibility problems. In addition, Bluetooth LE ensures low energy consumption for both the smartphone and the transmitter. The application calculates the distance between the smartphone and the car precisely enough to ensure the comfortable user experience.

Usually, we implement Bluetooth tags for targeted advertising, navigation prompts and discount offers. For example, you can see suggestions on dining and entertainment options available nearby.

Face Tracking

The user’s experience of our magnificent application is not limited to just renting a car. In the video above, you’ve witnessed how the car rental customer used the application to take a picture and post it to the social network.


Yet the most exhilarating experience here is definitely the contactless control. Simply place the smartphone into the convenient phone mount when you get inside the car. From now on, you can use voice commands or even cutting-edge face detection technology able to track your smiles or blinks. We can use the similar approach for implementing the car rating algorithm in the mobile application. Wouldn’t it be cool if you can simply blink or smile to add a 5-star feedback?

The user recognition technology, based on neural networks, allows identifying customers. Thus, the car rental staff greet you by name when you return the car. Also, we might implement the facial recognition for various security issues on iOS or Android.

3rd Party Services

We can bring much more power to your mobile application by integrating 3rd party services via specific APIs. You customers can get access to the best features implemented in other services without the need to switch to another application. Let’s see this idea in action taking this ultimate car rental application as an example.

Automatic 21

Before you even rent a car, the application downloads your personal statistics from Automatic Pro. Based on this data, the app can suggest you rent a sports car if you prefer driving with higher speeds or provide a discount on the insurance if you rarely exceed the speed limits.

When you drive out of the parking lot, the application can show you the route to the hotel. We’ve integrated the Expedia API, so the app knows exactly where you’re going to stay tonight. This applies to the case when you booked the hotel using the travel partner’s service.

Before you return the rented car, you need to fuel it up if you haven’t purchased the gas plan. So, we can use the GasBuddy API to help the customers find the cheapest gas on their trip back to the rental car return lot.

Integration with the 3rd party services opens a lot of opportunities for smart (we mean really smart and helpful) notifications.

Smart Notifications

The pop-up notifications can really make the difference between a good mobile application and a great one. In fact, we’ve developed more than just a car rental application. We’ll now explain why we can even call it the smart assistant. The application calculates when to leave in order to get to the airport in time, considering the traffic conditions and the flight schedule. Connecting to the GasBuddy API, the application helps you find the gas station on your way back. It can even suggest dining and entertainment options along the route up to your liking. In addition, the app remembers where you have left your car in a large parking lot and shows you the right direction to find it.

Security Features

Incidentally, the application gathers a lot of personal information, starting from you credit card number ending with the location and transaction history.


Therefore, we decided to use a fingerprint scanner to protect this private data. Thus, you can confirm wireless payments with the help of the fingerprint scanner. We have a solid knowledge of integrating various online payment services in mobile applications.

For extra security services, we may add the user’s face recognition technology alongside with fingerprint scanning. This ensures compliance with the highest security standards for wireless payments.

Car Rental Mobile Application Structure

Let’s delve into the set of technologies we engaged to bring to life this thrilling car rental mobile application.

car rental mobile application schema

The application uses common Bluetooth technology to connect to the Bluetooth tags. Various 3rd party services use the AFNetworking framework to connect to the appropriate remote servers. We use built-in iOS location services to display the user’s position on the map and build the route to the destination. What’s more, we have integrated the User Notifications UI framework to bring the smart notifications straight to the smartphone’s screen. Finally, we use the front facing camera for face tracking, gesture detection for contactless control, and user recognition.

Wondering how we can use this gamut of skills and technologies to bring much richer and entertaining experience to your application? Contact us to get a free consultation!