Bits & Bytes
HIGH-TECH DIRECTIONS FOR THE BEFUDDLED CAR RENTER
Ever tried speed-reading a map while driving a car in unfamiliar territory? It's a nerve-wracking proposition. But customers of Budget Rent-a-Car Corp. have a way to avoid the problem. Budget has introduced a computerized directions system at its car-rental locations that the company says is the first of its kind.
Called Point-to-Point, the system consists of a touch-screen computer terminal and a data base that gives customers printed, step-by-step directions. Budget says its system goes beyond a similar one used by rival Hertz Corp., which gives directions only to popular destinations in the area, such as major hotels. Point-to-Point can guide car renters to any address in the metropolitan area and also can plan multistop trips, Budget says. Based on software developed by GeoSoft Corp. in Newbury Park, Calif., the system has been installed in 40 major cities and can give directions in Spanish, French, German, Italian, and English.EDITED BY SUNITA WADEKAR-BHARGAVA