12 Apr 18

Avis pursues connected future with 10,000-vehicle Toyota deal

Avis Budget Group is accelerating its fleet towards a fully connected future with plans to buy 10,000 connected Toyota cars in the United States.

The daily rental giant has committed to run a fully connected global fleet by 2020. In 2017 the company had 627,000 vehicles, and it has already started to install 50,000 telematics devices in its US fleet. The retrofit Unified Telematics Platform devices are made by I.D. Systems.

The new agreement with Toyota will see Avis Car Rental connect its vehicles and access data via Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF), which provides a suite of advanced software and connected services to support mobility businesses. The vehicles are expected to start joining the Avis fleet in September.

Arthur Orduña, executive vice president and chief innovation officer, Avis Budget Group, said, “Connected cars offer us unparalleled potential to dramatically improve the customer experience while also streamlining operations and reducing costs, which is why we’re taking aggressive steps to fully connect our fleet as quickly as possible.”

He added that the investment in connectivity would, “further improve our fleet management capabilities, which enables us to provide Fleet Management as a Service (FMaaS), while also enhancing the customer experience with time savings and mobile app integration."

The Avis mobile app interacts with connected cars. It enables customers to access information about their rental; to change or upgrade their vehicle; to lock and unlock it without using a key; and even to find their vehicle in a car park. The app has driven up Avis customer satisfaction ratings by 20 percent and is now used by more than 350,000 customers.

Toyota’s Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) will help Avis to increase the operational efficiency of its fleet through improved informatics and better fleet management. It will, for example, allow Avis to track vehicle mileages and access odometer readings and fuel levels, as well as locating vehicles. This should deliver shorter vehicle check-in and check-out times.

Zack Hicks, chief executive officer and president, Toyota Connected North America, said, “We are leveraging the power of data science to develop and deliver new mobility services that create new value for businesses and customers alike.”

Authored by: Jonathan Manning