NEW YORK, NY— TechCrunch Disrupt (May 24, 2011) — Peer-to-peer car sharing service Getaround today unveiled the Getaround Carkit™ the first all-in-one device for enabling car owners to safely and easily share their cars and potentially generate thousands of dollars per year in rental income. In tandem, Getaround announced the release of its new iPhone app and an agreement with insurance giant Berkshire Hathaway to provide premium insurance coverage on every Getaround rental. All announcements occurred at the TechCrunch Disrupt event happening this week in New York City.
Getaround enables car owners to "un-idle" their cars and offset the cost of vehicle ownership by sharing with friends, co-workers, and neighbors, while people seeking cars are provided easy, affordable access to vehicles everywhere. The Getaround Carkit combines GPS, Wi-Fi, and keyless remote technology to allow safe and simple sharing of cars, and is the first device designed exclusively for peer-to-peer car sharing. The Getaround Carkit and iPhone app together make it possible for users to easily conduct entire transactions, including reserving, paying for, and unlocking cars using nothing but their iPhone. The Getaround Carkit is simple to install-for many car models, it can be installed directly by the owner in a matter of minutes. Getaround's peer-to-peer car rental marketplace can provide meaningful financial benefits to both owners and renters. Owners can earn, on average, $2,000 per year for every hour per day their car is rented. Meanwhile, according to the research firm Frost & Sullivan, the average renter saves over $1,800 per year by using a car sharing service over owning a car for the same number of miles driven.
"There are over 250 million personal vehicles in the U.S., and they sit idle an average of 22 hours each day," said Getaround founder and CEO Sam Zaid. "Getaround frees people from the burden of car ownership by turning an idle, costly, and underutilized asset into something that can generate revenue, and our Getaround Carkit and smartphone technology make car sharing safe and accessible to everyone."
Unlike services that require owners to surrender their car to the fleet, Getaround lets car owners maintain complete control over their cars. Owners set the pricing and availability, and can optionally approve each rental request individually. Meanwhile, renters are given a broad selection of vehicles and pricing, and the ability to rent nearby cars instantly. In addition to the keyless remote technology, the Getaround Carkit ensures safe and proper use of the vehicle through its tracking and reporting features.
To further enhance the safety of its service, Getaround also announced today that it is working with Berkshire Hathaway, one of the nation's largest insurance groups, to provide premium insurance coverage throughout every Getaround rental. Berkshire Hathaway is an A++ rated carrier, the highest, most secure rating available to insurers. This policy includes liability, collision, and comprehensive (theft, fire, etc.) coverage and supersedes the policies of both owners and renters throughout the rental period. In addition, Getaround provides 24/7 roadside assistance through The National Automobile Club.
Currently in beta in California, Getaround has over 240 owners and approximately 1,500 renters currently active in its system, primarily in the San Francisco Bay Area, with over 1,500 additional car owners nationwide having signed up to share their cars through Getaround once the service becomes available in their area. Requiring no membership fees, Getaround members can sign up and begin renting immediately. Owners interested in making their cars available can complete the form at https://www.getaround.com, where they can also find answers to frequently asked questions.
Getaround empowers people to safely share cars by the hour, day, or week through a trusted online marketplace. By providing the Getaround Carkit, in-car technology designed in-house, as well as complete insurance up to $1,000,000 backed by Berkshire Hathaway, Getaround helps to create a seamless and fun sharing experience. Getaround is free to join, and for as little as $3 an hour, members can conveniently rent nearby cars and save money on auto payments, insurance and maintenance. Owners share cars ranging from a Toyota to a Tesla, offsetting the high cost of car ownership, while making a positive impact on the environment. Visit https://www.getaround.com for more information.
TechCrunch Disrupt NYC 2011 (https://disrupt.techcrunch.com) is TechCrunch's second annual conference in New York City attracting over 1,500 leading technology innovators and investors and over 150 new startups. The format combines top thought-leader discussions with new product and company launches. Morning executive discussions debate the most timely disruptions in media, advertising and technology. Afternoons host the Startup Battlefield where 25 new companies will launch for the first time on stage, selected to present from more than 500 applications received from around the world.
Another 100 early-stage startups will exhibit in Startup Alley. TechCrunch will award a $50,000 grand prize along with other award recognitions at the conclusion of the conference. The conference is May 23-25, 2011, at Pier 94 located at 711 12th Avenue (at 55th Street & West Side Hwy) in Midtown New York.
TechCrunch (www.techcrunch.com) is a leading technology media network dedicated to obsessively profiling and reviewing new Internet products and companies. Founded by Michael Arrington in 2005, TechCrunch and its network of websites reach over 13 million unique visitors and more than 30 million page views per month. TechCrunch was acquired by AOL in 2011 and operates a global network of websites including dedicated properties in Europe and Japan, as well as specialized industry websites including MobileCrunch, CrunchGear, GreenTech, TechCrunchIT, and CrunchBase. TechCrunch's CrunchBase is the leading open database about startup companies, people, and investors. In addition to TechCrunch Disrupt, TechCrunch hosts other conferences and events, including the Crunchies Awards (https://crunchies2010.techcrunch.com) and various meet-ups worldwide, serving as community platforms for industry conversation and collaboration.