Europcar (www.europcar.com) is the first travel company in Europe to offer Microsoft Surface (http://www.microsoft.com/surface/) tables to provide customers with a new and fun way of planning their journeys. The first interactive touch-driven table using cutting-edge technology will preview at ITB Berlin from 10 March and will be rolled out for customers over the next few weeks at Munich airport. A selection of Europcar outlets in Europe will be equipped with the system from the end of the first half of 2010 onwards.

Micrsoft Surface Partner, Fortune Cookie (www.fortunecookie.co.uk), developed the application for Surface which enables customers to plan and enrich their journeys in many different ways. Europcar is the first company in the world to have its own multi-touch application for Windows 7.

Using this new system, Europcar’s customers will be able to gather information independently and interactively at rental points about their chosen destination or theme-based circular routes (gastronomy, history, etc.), as well as nearby tourist attractions. The selected route can easily be printed out at the Europcar station. What’s more, special offers from Europcar’s partners related to the selected route are rapidly located, enabling all users to qualify for special rates, notably at Accor hotels.

The application will also provide special services dedicated to Europcar’s customers, such as practical guides describing or explaining how to use the equipment they have rented.

“We are proud to be able to offer our customers this new device, a real gem of technology from Microsoft”, said Jehan de Thé, Europcar’s Global Marketing Director. “This approach fits with Europcar’s determination to innovate and facilitate journey planning whilst making car rental a constantly more practical and pleasant experience for our customers.”

In the short term, all the applications will be available right around the globe for any customers with a touch-screen computer.

Thanks to this cutting-edge technology, Europcar has positioned itself as a pioneer in the next generation of technological experience, by harnessing the crucial support of its partner Microsoft. “Microsoft Surface, Windows 7 touch and Silverlight are packed with our latest innovations and clearly illustrate Europcar’s determination to offer its customers an intuitive, practical and enticing experience, both physically and across the web”, commented Microsoft’s Michael McClary, Platform Strategy Advisor.

The advantages of this new device based on Microsoft Surface will be on show at the Europcar stand no. 121 in Hall 9 at the ITB Berlin fair (http://www1.messe-berlin.de/vip8_1/website/Internet/Internet/www.itb-berlin/englisch/index.html) from 10 to 14 March 2010.

Published on: 1:00PM on 10th March 2010