Hertz plans slightly speedier rentals using facial recognition and fingerprints


Hertz announced Tuesday that it is going to lean on facial recognition and fingerprint verification technology to speed up the rental process at airports. The rental car giant struck a deal with biometric airport security company Clear to provide the technology.

The two companies have already rolled out this new offering, called “Hertz Fast Lane powered by Clear,” at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. It will only be available to members of Hertz’s Gold Plus Rewards program, and these renters will have to enroll with Clear separately. Hertz won’t charge extra for the fast lane, but renters will still have to pay for Clear if they want to use the service for faster access at airport security.

Hertz and Clear plan to expand the biometric fast lane to more than 40 other locations in 2019, including Los Angeles International Airport, New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport, and San Francisco International Airport.

The Clear biometric checkouts will allow renters to take off with their cars in just “30 seconds or less – a time savings of at least 75 percent,” according to Hertz. That means we’re not talking about an enormous amount of time savings. By that math, the current process takes two minutes.

Still, biometric security is spreading like wildfire at airports around the world. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) announced a road map in October for rolling out biometric security measures for domestic flights, expanding on a previous project for international flights that was fast-tracked by the Trump administration in 2017. Before that, airlines like Delta and British Airways were experimenting with using biometric tech to speed up things like boarding and bag drops.

By Sean O’Kane

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