At HIROLA, we love working with clients to develop solutions to real world problems. Partnering with inspiring clients who have big ideas is what gets us out of bed in the morning.
HiyaCar is a perfect example.
With 30 million registered cars in the UK – most of which go unused up to 23 hours a day – it was clear that there was a huge opportunity to connect idle cars with those looking for a simple, local rental model. And so the HiyaCar offering was born.
This revolutionary car hire company is putting drivers behind the wheel faster and more easily than ever before, whilst at the same time allowing car owners to “Monetize Your Motor™”. And (thanks to a glowing client recommendation) the HiyaCar team brought HIROLA along for the ride.
Here, we talk about how we relaunched and repositioned this brilliant brand, arriving at an innovative solution sure to set HiyaCar apart from the rest.
We were initially appointed as HiyaCar’s design and development team in Autumn 2016, charged with analysing their position within this most competitive of marketplaces, increasing customer engagement, and boosting bookings.
With the goal of disrupting the saturated car hire industry in the UK, HiyaCar required a partner capable of out-of-the-box strategic thinking and results-focused technical execution. We were only too happy to oblige.
What followed was a period of meticulous market research, before we proposed a fresh and exciting roadmap for the HiyaCar brand. This plan involved building high quality, secure, and innovative technology, designed to instill trust and produce a first-class user experience.
Getting into Gear
In the short-term, a new website was at the top of our agenda. The user interface and user experience required a refresh, and we stripped both back to the basics as we set about researching how existing users engaged with the platform. We had to make this more efficient, effective, and enjoyable from the outset.
This resulted in the streamlined and modern web presence you see today.
We’ve also translated this new look and feel to the forthcoming iOS and Android apps, which will allow HiyaCar to take its platform mobile.
But a shiny new website and smartphone applications alone won’t revolutionise the industry.
Instead, it’s what’s set to come next that’s particularly exciting.
The Key is Keyless
The team at HiyaCar had already recognised the hassle involved in renting a car. They wanted to make the entire process easier by allowing their users to search for and hire idle cars in their immediate vicinity. But this still relied upon a level of human intervention, with owners meeting would-be renters to exchange the keys and inspect vehicles at either side of the rental period.
In order to make the entire experience as seamless and streamlined as possible, HiyaCar required a way to access vehicles without the need for a face-to-face meeting between renters and owners.
The answer: keyless entry via the smartphone app.
And it will work like this:
- Owners wishing to offer keyless entry will have a special ‘black box’ installed in their car
- Renters wishing to use keyless entry will look for the symbol when booking a car
- They will arrive at the vehicle and unlock the car using their smartphone
- They can then start the engine via the regular ‘press start’ button in the car, or with a dead key in the glove box
No need to pick up keys or take time out of a busy schedule to arrange a time to meet; simply search, book, and drive.
The benefits of this technology are enormous, for both HiyaCar and its users. For starters, it differentiates the platform from the competition by eliminating the long and drawn out booking process so often associated with other rental companies. And it means renters can drop the car off elsewhere, where a new renter can then access it, therefore maximising earnings for the owner.
A Challenge Overcome
You might think keyless entry is a simple concept – one that makes complete sense for what HiyaCar are trying to achieve in shaking up this industry. But making it a reality was a significant challenge.
It required an intense technical collaboration, where we worked closely on both a business and technical level. HiyaCar had to deliver certain parts of the solution – namely the in-car hardware – and our development team handled the application, with our client management joining up the dots and making sure the project ran on time and on budget.
Stakeholders had to be aligned and informed; APIs had to be written and tested; and the ‘black box’ had to be transported to Greece for testing. With so many moving parts, locations, and time differences, communication and workflows were vital in ensuring the project went off without a hitch.
We are now overseeing a pilot programme with the client. The keyless entry system will be rolled out in partnership with a local council, putting it in the hands of unbiased users with a view to receiving valuable qualitative and quantitative feedback.
This is an ambitious and innovative solution; something our developers believe to be ‘history in the making’. It won’t be long until it’s live and in the hands of HiyaCar users the length and breadth of the country.
And when it is, we think you’ll share the sentiments of our talented tech team. The car rental game is about to be changed for good.
Let Us Take the Wheel
We continue to work closely with HiyaCar in refining their web and mobile platforms, making sure the design and functionality accurately reflect the expectations of their users.
By bringing together the best bits of certain processes, our design and development teams were able to collaborate with HiyaCar’s technical team, making for a smooth and transparent approach to problem-solving and brand building.
If you fancy hitching a lift with HIROLA to a bigger and better brand, contact us today.
Want to know more about the HiyaCar product, see our work page here.