Carkits are devices fitted into selected cars in your car sharing network.
They allow your customers to lock/unlock and drive cars without needing any physcial keys!
As there are no keys to exchange with another human or office location, cars fitted with carkits open up economic scenarios like: multiple rentals in a single day, renting cars by the minute, and A to A dropoffs. These scenarios are not economically viable when physcial keys have to be managed.
Carkits also track the location of the car and other metrics, such as: distance travleled, fuel consumed and driving styles. This kind of data makes cheaper insurance products for car sharing.
This section is intended for the latest generation of Hourfleet carkits, with a smart optical unlock feature, known as Tap, Tap Go.
This carkit is only fully compatible with cars that:
- Have a proximity key. These are the kinds of keys you can leave in your pocket while using the car
- AND Have a factory-fitted push-to-start button (usually on the dashboard of the car)
Cars that have older style twist-key ignitions may have this carkit fitted, but the carkit will only provide access (unlock/lock) to the car. It will not facilitate starting of the car (since these cars will not have a Start button). In order to use this kind of configuration and start the car, a regular car key must be accessible inside the car for the renter to use to start the car somehow (i.e. left in the glove box). While this is a similar model to most car share services that operate today, we do not recommend this configuration for the physical security and insurance risks it carries.
A carkit is obtained by ordering a quantity of them from Hourfleet.
These carkits are devices that can be shipped to your business, and then paired with a key unit of the car before being fitted into any car.
A carkit comes in two parts that fit together when installed. The main carkit unit and a separate car key unit.
The car key unit must be physically constructed by Hourfleet technicians prior to the delivery of the carkit. This physical customization makes the car key unit specific to each car. Which means that the car key unit can only be used for that car. However, the main carkit unit is general purpose and can be installed in other cars, paired with each of their car key units.
The basic process to provision a carkit for any car is as follows:
- Place an order for a carkit with Hourfleet (contact Hourfleet Sales for pricing and availability).
- Once your order has been accepted, follow this Guidance
- Hourfleet technicians return a fully configured carkit, which comes in two parts: a car key unit, and the carkit unit, which fit together for that car.
- Install the carkit into the car.
- In the Hourfleet App, registered the carkit with a registered car, which creates a secure binding in the Hourfleet App.
- People can now start booking and using that car keylessly, using the Hourfleet App.
IMPORTANT: It is important to understand that the creation of a car key unit is a destructive process to the spare car key. Which means, that you must sacrifice a spare key to your car to get keyless access for the car. You will need to have a spare car key to do this. Once a carkit is delivered back to you from Hourfleet technicians, the car key is no longer usable by a person. The car key is now permanently embedded in a carkey unit that can only be used by an Hourfleet carkit.
The purchase price of an Hourfleet carkit includes the carkit itself, the provisioning work, and delivery of the carkit to any address accessible by DHL.
Contact Hourfleet Sales for pricing and availability.
The price does not include the cost of the car key itself, nor the postage delivery of that car key to our technician.
Installing the Carkit
The Hourfleet carkit is simple to install in a car by any person.
Normally, for most car share services, it will be the operator of the car share that will be responsible for arranging, overseeing or performing the installation of the carkit, both physcially in the car and electronically with the Car Share.
Note: Some car share operators may choose to outsource the phsycial installation of the carkit in their cars to other parties, but the electronic registration of the carkit can only be done by the operator in the Hourfleet App.
Familiarise yourself with the following parts:
- The main carkit unit and the Car Key Unit
- A GPS Antenna
- A Touch Sensor
- An OBD Connector
Ideally, you would mount the main unit (connected to car key unit) under the dashboard on the drivers side of the car, or as close to the drivers side as possible.
Plug the ODB Connector into the Onboard Diagnostics (OBD) connector of the car.
This connector can be located in different places in different cars, usually at least one connection under the dashboard.
Then, you route the GPS Antenna cable from the main unit up onto the dashboard. It can be on either the drivers side of the car or the passengers side. Ideally, you would route the GPS Antenna cable out of sight behind the dash. Place the GPS Antenna in plain sight of the windscreen, either on the dashboard, or adhered to the windowscreen near the top of the windscreen, with a clear view of the skies.
Then you route the Touch Sensor cable from the main unit up onto the dashboard on the drivers side. Like the GPS cable, try to route the Touch Sensor cable out of sight behind the dash. Run the Touch Sensor cable up the vertical support column that supports the side of the windscreen on the drivers side. This is the vertical column between the glass of the windscreen and the glass of the drivers side door window. Adhere the Touch Sensor to the windowscreen as low and as close the drivers side of the windscreen, so it does not obstruct the drivers view of the road. Ideally, place it at the same height as an average persons elbow. This makes it very accessible to operate for Tap Tap Go outside the car for most people.
Make a Note
Finally, make a note of both the license plate of the car, and the number from the sticky label on the main carkit unit. You will both of these to complete the registration below.
Verify the Physical Installation
Once the carkit has been physically installed, and the OBD connector has been connected successfully, you should see a slow flashing red light on the Touch Sensor in the window screen (from the outside of the car). This confirms that the device is working correctly.
If the red light is not flashing, then check your OBD connector
For the next part, you will need the another spare (proximity) car key for the car.
You will need to start the car, as you do normally with the start button.
For the next part, the car has to be in a location where it has cellular access to the internet.
You may need to move the car to do this, or drive around for a few minutes in a cell covered area.
Either way, after a few minutes, you will notice that the red flashing light on the Touch Sensor will change from flashing red to flashing blue. It may, flash purple for a few seconds turning from red to blue.
Once the Touch Sensor turns to flashing blue. You may stop the car. The carkit is now fully programmed and can now be registered in the Hourfleet App to be used by others (through the app) to access and drive the car, without the use of the spare proximity key you have.
From the moment the carkit is first powered to the moment it is fully configured and ready for lock/unlock operation, will be about 5-10 mins.
The LED light in the windscreen indicates the car kit’s current state:
- No light: Tap, Tap is disabled. Either the device is not correctly powered, or the car has detected vibrations over the last 5 secs, such as vibrations from driving down the road.
- Red flashing (slow): Power is applied. The car kit is not yet configured, and is waiting to connect to Hourfleet over the internet, for which it needs cellular coverage.
- Purple flashing : The car kit is configured by the Hourfleet.
- Green pulsing: Ready for presentation of a unlock/lock key, in response to a Tap, Tap on the window screen.
- Blue flashing : Ready for normal lock/unlock operation.
- Green flashing: A valid QR key has been presented. The car doors will unlock or lock as appropriate.
Registering the Carkit on Your Car Share
As an operator of your car share, you will need to register the carkit as being installed into one of the cars already registered in your network of cars on your car share.
This must be done before anyone in the car share can access or use the car from the Hourfleet App.
Note: This step is also necessary any time a main carkit unit is swapped between cars, or a carkit is removed from a car. In those cases, the carkit wil need to be unregistered from the first car, and if necessary re-registered with another car.
Once the carkit is physically installed and working as described above, then open the Hourfleet App at your Car Share URL (looks like: https://yourcompany.hourfleet.com), login and go to the ‘Operations Dashboard’ page in the App.
- From the menu of the far left, click ‘Cars’, and then ‘Carkits’
- Enter the license plate number of the car, and hit ‘Search’
- When the car is found, enter the Device Id, from the value you wrote down from the sticky label on the main carkit unit.
- Click ‘Register’
Now, that the carkit is physically installed and registered on your car share, borrowers of the car can now access the car key-lessly without any physical keys. All they need is a smartphone with internet access!