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. - Photo via Depositphotos.

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.

Photo via Depositphotos.

Avis Budget Group announced today that it has surpassed the 200,000 connected car threshold globally, a significant marker on its journey to fully connecting its fleet of more than 600,000 vehicles.

To date, the company has seen numerous benefits, including reduced costs thanks to new operational efficiencies; increased revenue from better recovery of costs; happier customers thanks to more responsive and personalized technology; and new business models enabled by both the connected platform and vehicle data.

A fully connected fleet increases operational efficiency for Avis Budget Group by providing greater visibility into fleet usage and access to information in real-time. Connected car data, combined with analytics, provides business-critical information across numerous aspects of fleet management, including inventory, tire pressure, fuel levels mileage, vehicle location, and ready-state, which leads to a more efficient workforce, better maintained vehicles, and ultimately a better customer experience.

In the past year, Avis Budget Group introduced new app features to improve the overall customer experience. It piloted 3-D imaging of vehicles to automate the process of inspecting the vehicle for damage, freeing the customer to get on with the trip. Customers in connected cars save time because they can bypass the exit gate and don’t need an attendant to check the car back in upon return – the data is automatically sent to the accounting system and a bill is generated electronically in near real time.

Earlier this year, J.D. Power named the Avis mobile app the highest rated car rental app, while its scores topped all other travel-related apps as well.

With a growing number of vehicles connected to both the cloud and to mobile applications, Avis Budget Group has been able to create new revenue streams through new business models including Fleet Management as a Service, Data as a Service and its Developer Program. The company is providing fleet services to rideshare providers, including Uber, Lyft, and Via.

Avis has partnered with Otonomo to develop new markets for aggregated, anonymized vehicle data, while also exploring opportunities with public sector and academic institutions to solve problems like congestion and emissions. Through its developer program it is creating new opportunities for third party service providers, like Arrive (which integrated its parking service into the Avis app), to improve the overall customer experience while generating new revenue opportunities for the company.

Avis Budget Group works directly with OEMs including Ford, Toyota, GM, and Groupe PSA as well as third-party hardware companies including I.D. Systems and Continental to connect vehicles to its cloud-based platform.

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