WHY IT RATES: Avis and Ford are looking to change the way travelers rent cars in Europe.—Donald Wood, Breaking News Senior Writer.
As part of its mission to reinvent rental, Avis Budget Group, Inc. announces an agreement with Ford Commercial Solutions to connect approximately 14,000 Ford Motor Company vehicles in Avis Budget Group’s European fleet.
Connected vehicles allow Avis customers to manage their entire rental experience through the Avis mobile app, including choosing the type of vehicle they want to rent, upgrading and extending the duration of their rental from their phones. Even returning a rental vehicle is automated with connected technology, allowing customers to drop off their vehicles through a simple tap in the Avis app.
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Additionally, these connected Ford vehicles will provide valuable telemetry data in real time, including mileage, fuel level and vehicle condition updates. This allows a faster turnaround for customers, as Avis Budget Group fleet managers can process information they need more quickly.
Ford Commercial Solutions is providing an embedded telematics solution that offers a simplified and efficient way for Avis Budget Group to connect vehicles, reducing typical cost and complexity of implementing aftermarket solutions. More than 4,000 Ford vehicles in the Avis Budget Group fleet are expected to be connected by the end of 2019, and a further 10,000 vehicles by the end of 2020.
“Following the recent announcement of more than 35,000 Ford vehicles connected in our US fleet, this expansion of a further 14,000 connected vehicles in Europe is testament to the relationship with Ford Commercial Solutions and a significant milestone in our commitment to have a fully connected global fleet,” said Valerie Chenivesse, Fleet Services Director – International, Avis Budget Group. “Connectivity allows us to increase efficiencies as a business, delivering a more streamlined and on-demand experience for our customers.”
“It is great to work alongside an organization which shares our mutual goal to push the boundaries of connectivity and innovation as we charge into a new era for mobility,” added Chenivesse.
To connect its embedded telematics solution, Ford Commercial Solutions is using the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) from Autonomic, an open platform that securely manages information flow to and from vehicles’ embedded modems. Through this partnership, Ford Data Services takes advantage of Ford vehicles’ built-in connectivity and transfers data directly from vehicles to the TMC without the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime. The data is then easily relayed to the fleet owner’s internal IT system or telematics service via the TMC — giving businesses easy access to valuable information that can improve their operations and the overall customer experience.
“Ford Data Services and the TMC make it possible to deliver real-time connectivity across a fleet, enabling new data collection and insights. These insights make daily operations more efficient for our partners and their customers,” said Dave Phatak, director of Ford Commercial Solutions, Europe “We are thrilled to work with Avis Budget Group, whose commitment to a fully connected fleet matches ours as we deliver 100 percent new vehicle connectivity in Europe by the end of 2020.”
For more information, reach out to your local travel agent.
SOURCE: Avis Budget Group press release.