Gary Rodrick’s thoughtful driving service called AutoPilot delivers executives, students and even seniors safely to whatever destination they choose

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As a former military chauffer in the U.S. Army, Gary Rodrick is adept at driving VIPs and other precious cargo securely and safely.

By Patricia Nugent

A seasoned and reliable point-to-point driving service—for busy executives who prefer driving to flying, families looking for transportation home for college kids, or seniors to special events—AutoPilot lives up to its tagline, “your wings on the ground.”

As a military chauffeur in the U.S. Army for many years, owner Gary Rodrick has driven heads of state, dignitaries, CEOs and key executives safely and soundly, wherever they needed to go.

“I was military trained for combat driving. Safety and security are my first priorities,” he says. “I was attached to NATO in Europe and since I had the best safety record, was selected to drive the President of France for an assignment. I had to pass interviews with the French Secret Service. We had helicopters follow overhead during the trip.”

In a spiffy Audi wagon, spacious Caravan or elegant gleaming black 1947 Packard clipper for special occasions, Gary arrives 15 minutes early, in a suit and tie, ready to provide a smooth ride.

“Executives like the freedom being able to work from the car affords them,” says Gary. “Especially to cities like Columbus, Cincinnati, Pittsburgh and Detroit, which would probably take more time and more hassle to fly to, they enjoy the quiet of the back seat and opening their laptops and talking on their phone the whole trip.”

He has taken people on longer trips, too, to West Virginia, North Carolina and New York, anywhere within a 500-mile radius of Cleveland. Gary will stay in the destination city and wait for return leg of the round trip when needed, even if that means staying overnight.

Once word spread about AutoPilot, his market grew beyond executives.

Gary Rodrick, owner of AutoPilot, will take you wherever you need to go within a 500-mile radius of Cleveland. Just sit back, relax, and leave the driving to him.

“I’ve helped busy parents by picking up kids from college, for holidays like Easter and Thanksgiving,” he adds. “I also have several clients who are seniors and no longer drive, but enjoy travelling to see out-of-town family, going to their grandchildren’s weddings or graduations. I’ve also taken groups of Amish people to Charlotte, North Carolina, to call on their clients.”

Gary does not consider companies like Uber and Lyft to be his competition.

“You never really know what you’re going to get behind the wheel with them,” he says. “They can drive up to 18 hours a day. Do you really want a zombie picking you up? Driving now is more challenging than ever, with other drivers on their phone and not paying attention.”

The Packard
Gary’s love of classic automobiles led him to buy the Packard. What he calls the Black-Tie Service, people love taking a step back in time and having their photos taken with the stunning car. He even dons a tuxedo to complete the experience.

For elegant weddings with an old-world glamour, to 50th birthdays, girls’ nights out, or couples’ excursions to wineries over the years, the Packard creates an unforgettable time.

“I’ve had clients visit Gervasi Vineyards down in Canton and enjoy the wine tastings without worrying about driving home,” he says.

Whatever ride he chooses for the service, Gary says maintaining his fleet in tip-top shape is a serious consideration for him. Just like the pilot of a plane, he does an extensive flight check before any service.

“I offer the same level of VIP service as the larger black car services, but at about 30% less cost,” he says.

Based in Aurora, AutoPilot offers concierge driving services within a 500-mile radius from Cleveland. Call Gary Rodrick directly at 234-329-2609 or email to arrange for your service. Check out his LinkedIn page for more information.

Categories: Professional Services