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Hertz Orders 7,500 Navigation Units

July 21, 1996

The Hertz Corp. has ordered at least 7,500 navigation units, called NeverLost, to be installed in its rental fleet in 16 cities beginning this month. The system, manufactured by Rockwell International, consists of a 4-inch color monitor mounted on the dashboard to the driver's right. Using satellite technology, the system displays a map showing the car's location, and provides turn-by-turn directions (assisted by computer-generated voice prompts) to allow the driver to find the desired destination.

Hertz, which has been using about 500 of the navigation units in its cars since last year, is not the only car rental firm using the device. Avis began offering it in a few cars in 1994, and National has tested the feature. But when Hertz's installations are completed this October, it will have more than 8,000 of the units in its U.S. fleet, more than any other company.

Until now, Hertz customers could only express a preference for a car with a navigation unit; now, according to a spokesman, they will be able to reserve one.

The NeverLost units will be installed in mid-size and larger cars such as the Ford Contour and Lincoln Town Car. The cars will rent for an extra $6 per day. The new units will be introduced in Atlanta, with 500 available for the Olympics. Cities to receive them later will be Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, New York, Orlando, Fla., San Francisco and Washington, which already have a limited number of the units. Boston, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Philadelphia, Phoenix and Seattle will get them for the first time.

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