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Self-Serve Car Rental 143

abb_road writes "Claiming 'Web2.0 values meet Brick and Mortar,' BusinessWeek is reporting on an entirely self service car rental company. Zipcar customers make all reservations online or using a cell phone, then use a card-key to pick up their car from the parking garage--no attendants needed. According to the article, one of the other important attractions of the system is transparency; the reservations system allows you to see exactly what cars in the area will be available at what times, and then reserve or adjust your plans accordingly. From the article: 'If the nearest Mini convertible is booked until 3 p.m., the customer might postpone plans by an hour to get it -- or decide the Mazda with a sunroof on another lot will do.'"

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"Today's robots are very primitive, capable of understanding only a few simple instructions such as 'go left', 'go right', and 'build car'." --John Sladek

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