A Peek Under the Hood

We love technology. Technology makes it possible to do a million different incredible things — including finding, reserving, unlocking, and driving a Gig!

There are a lot of moving parts related to the technology behind GIG Car Share service, and it's been a long, windy, road to make it all happen. We wanted to take a look back at how we got here, and what makes the Gig app go!

Gig's Evolution

GIG Car Share launched on Earthday of 2017, serving Berkeley and Oakland with 250 hybrids.

“We launched with our technology partner, who has expertise in car-sharing,” says Jason Haight, President of GIG Car Share. “And, we’ve grown by developing new technology that connects our Members with our cars. In the process, we’ve become the largest free-floating car share service in the country.”

In 2020, Gig implemented a major app update. With this update, Members could view additional pricing information (such as pricing packages and toll fees), view additional information about parking locations, and easily choose a specific vehicle type.

We also added Bluetooth capabilities. Bluetooth is a low-power wireless technology used to securely connect your phone to your Gig. Bluetooth makes locking and unlocking Gig cars fast and reliable when using the app, especially if you're in an area with poor or no cell service.Due to the rising need for longer rentals by our Members, we launched our Multi-day Rental program in 2020. Initially, early in the year, Multi-day Rental reservations had to be done manually, and Members were only able to book a Multi-day Rental by phone. In August 2020, we introduced Typeform in the app. In December of 2020, the process was fully automated, with Members being able to book in less than a minute, and cars being available immediately.

In 2021, we updated our EV Gig charging process. With this update, Members  started charging their EV Gig in the app, with Gig covering the cost directly (with the app walking Members through the entire process.)  We also implemented a technology update in all of our Gigs, upgrading their connectivity with the computers that link our apps to the car.

Getting Our Cars to Talk!

The technology behind the Gig car means that it can communicate with our Members.

Our cars can talk to your cell phone so that you can: 

  • View Gigs on a map
  • Find the closest car
  • Reserve the car
  • Unlock the car 
  • Start the car
  • Drive the car 

Pretty amazing if you think about it. You can find and use a mode of transportation all through a device you carry in your pocket! 

The Gig Card is another piece of advanced technology. If you wander far from cell service, or if your phone dies, our RFID-enabled Gig Card can assist locking and unlocking your car. You just tap or hold it over the windshield card reader, and you can reserve/unlock your Gig car. It can also help you end your reservation, and when you hold it over the reader, you’ll see a green light, ending your trip.

Technology + People = Making Gig Go!

Technology is fascinating, and always changing. But, just a reminder, that there are a lot of people behind Gig as well - from operations to product, our teams work hard to ensure that Gigs are on the road, are safe and functioning, and that Gig’s technology is working for our Members. 

We look forward to the future and to what is around the corner.  Who knows, maybe someday we’ll figure out how to program a Gig to make your grocery list AND pick them up for you. Almost anything can happen!

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