Photo via Raysonho/Wikimedia.

Photo via Raysonho/Wikimedia.

Avis Budget Group, Inc. announced it is launching its first “Mobility Lab” of fully connected devices and operations in Kansas City, Mo.

Comprising more than 20 Avis Car Rental locations, including the Kansas City International Airport, and Eppley Airfield and Lincoln Airport in Nebraska, the Mobility Lab features a fleet of 5,000 connected vehicles.

The Mobility Lab experience allows customers to complete the entire car rental experience from their smartphones. Through integration with the Avis mobile app, customers can make, change and manage reservations, extend rentals and lock or unlock car doors.

Additionally, the vehicle connectivity allows for seamless communication with the company’s fleet management platform. The Mobility Lab will provide real-time inventory counts, mileage management and automated maintenance notifications.

The Mobility Lab is a test as Avis attempts to expand its fleet of connected vehicles. The company previously announced plans to expand to more than 100,000 total connected cars by early 2018, and has committed to operating a fully global fleet by 2020.

"Our Mobility Lab in the greater Kansas City area extends our next-generation mobility initiatives," Larry De Shon, president and chief executive officer of Avis Budget Group, said. "The steps we're taking with connected car and smart technologies will increase customer satisfaction as well as reduce operational costs in the near term, while also preparing us to meet the evolving needs of consumers, entrepreneurs, corporations and governments, like the City of Kansas City, a recognized global leader for its Smart City advancements."