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Avis Budget Group has signed an agreement with Ford Commercial Solutions to bring its ‘connected car’ concept to around 14,000 Ford vehicles in its European fleet.
With connected vehicle technology, Avis customers can manage their rental experience through the company’s mobile app, including choosing the type of vehicle they want to rent, as well as upgrading and extending the duration of their rental through their phone. The app also automates the return process, allowing users to drop their vehicle off through the app.
Additionally, connected vehicles provide telemetry data in real time, including mileage, fuel level and vehicle condition updates, which Avis Budget Group says allows fleet managers to process information they need more quickly, leading to faster turnaround for customers.
Ford will initially connect 4,000 vehicles in the Avis Budget Group fleet this year, with a further 10,000 to feature the technology in 2020.
Valerie Chenivesse, fleet services director – international at Avis Budget Group, commented: “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. 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 organisation which shares our mutual goal to push the boundaries of connectivity and innovation as we charge into a new era for mobility.”
To connect its embedded telematics solution, Ford is using the Transportation Mobility Cloud from Autonomic, an open platform that securely manages information flow to and from vehicles’ embedded modems. Ford says the partnership transfers data directly from vehicles to the TMC without the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime.
Dave Phatak, director of Ford Commercial Solutions, Europe, said: “Ford Data Services and the Transportation Mobility Cloud 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. We are thrilled to work with Avis Budget Group, whose commitment to a fully connected fleet matches ours as we deliver 100 per cent new vehicle connectivity in Europe by the end of 2020.”
The Ford partnership follows similar agreements with Toyota and Peugeot, Citroen and DS.