Hotel-booking powerhouses Priceline and Expedia have nothing to worry about yet.
In a research environment, BMW has created a high-tech method for booking a hotel room from the car and enabling guests to proceed right to their rooms, where they can unlock the doors with their car keys using near-field communications.
Talk about auto-matic booking systems.
Officials say although the system was tested as a prototype, and it should be going live fairly soon.
But, this isn’t a solution which ready for the masses of drivers who don’t own BMWs anytime soon.
Leveraging an existing partnership with Google, BMW has teamed with Micros property management systems and VingCard Elsafe to enable BMW drivers to use their vehicles’ GPS and Internet search features to book and pay for room reservations from the car and then to bypass the hotel front desk and open their guest rooms using their NFC-equipped car keys.
Here’s basically how it works:
Before the driver can use the booking services, he or she must enter credit card details into the system one time.
BMW ConnectedDrive, which includes a plethora of information and communications apps, detects the car’s location and uses Google Local Search to display nearby hotels. Google’s suggest feature streamlines the search process [and hopefully makes it less distracting], according to Google.
Drivers can use Google Panoramio to view images of the destination and Google Street View to access a more detailed look.
Yes, hopefully they are doing this while the vehicle is parked somewhere.
The system connects to the hotel reservation system via PMS-provider Micros and an application enables guests to book and pay for the room from the car. Drivers have to confirm their identity to BMW ConnectedDrive by entering a personal identification number. Officials say BMW-backed encryption ensures the security of user and payment data.
A credit card clearing company handles the invoicing and the hotel gets notified that the reservation is guaranteed by credit card.
BMW ConnectedDrive then gets a notification of the hotel room assignment from Micros’ OPERA PMS, which uses OPERA Web services.
Drivers can press a button to transfer the hotel information to their navigation system and this puts them on course to drive to the hotel.
The BMW car key is equipped with NFC and it receives an access code for the guest room.
Upon arrival at the hotel, guests can bypass the front desk and use their BMW keys to open their rooms’ doors, outfitted with VingCard Elsafe locks, which are NFC-enabled.
And, there is a merchandising angle for hotels involved with this seemingly futuristic hotel-booking system.
If drivers/guests opt-in to let BMW share the data with hotels, then they would receive targeted promotions of special offers, officials say.