Fight Or Flight

Lost And Found

These days, car rental companies are steering drivers in the right direction with satellite-based navigational systems. Rather than driving around in circles--or, worse, having to stop and ask for directions--business travelers can use these technologies to find their way around unfamiliar territory.

Last October, Hertz finished installation of the NeverLost navigation system in 8,000 vehicles in 16 markets. How does it work? A 4-inch color monitor located between the front driver and passenger seats uses Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology to pinpoint your exact location, then offers computer-generated voice prompts to guide you to your destination. Users can select from cities, streets and highways, and points of interest--or enter a street address--and the software provides turn-by-turn directions to virtually any address within a defined geographic area.

Hertz's NeverLost system is available in four classes of cars ranging from midsized to luxury. Cars equipped with the NeverLost unit are available at an additional $6 per day.

Hertz isn't the only one putting GPS systems on the map, though. Avis has also installed a computer-driven navigation unit, the Avis Satellite Guidance system, in many of its cars. Vehicles with this souped-up system are available in most major markets, including New York City, Chicago, Atlanta, Dallas, and Washington, DC.

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This article was originally published in the February 1997 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Fight Or Flight.

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