Remember when Avis partnered with iPIX in 2001 to offer Internet tours of some of their rental car fleet? It was an entirely different era of the rental car industry and the internet.

  • Some rental car companies were still owned (fully or partially) by the auto manufacturers, limiting the vehicle models one could expect to see on the lot. 
  • iPIX tours could take a long time to download at home, as dial-up access was still common for many Internet users.
  • A company in 2001 could promote an entire business model around making photos for the internet.

Photos for the internet as a business model? We know how that ended -- iPIX went super bankrupt but many of their innovations remain available through Sony, which bought many of their patents out of bankruptcy.

Video tours of cars? Those still exist on many other websites (like U.S. News and World Report) and are frequently created by the manufacturers themselves; one example is this slick video from Hyundai where one can do a 360-degree tour while the video is playing

Ready to book your next cheap rental car? You won't find vehicle tours on the rental car company websites but that might just be a good thing!

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