Avis Teams up With Ford to Connect 35,000 Vehicles in its Rental Fleet

Avis Teams up With Ford to Connect 35,000 Vehicles in its Rental Fleet

Author: Eric Walz   

Rental car company Avis Budget Group Inc. announced an agreement with the Ford Motor Co. to connect more than 35,000 Ford vehicles in Avis' U.S. fleet. The connected technology makes its easier for customers to rent an Avis vehicle with convenient pickup and drop offs using the mobile app. The connected vehicles will also provide valuable vehicle data to Avis, to help to car rental company manage its fleet of Ford vehicles.

A customer renting one of the connected Ford vehicles at Avis will be able to manage their entire rental experience through the Avis mobile app, including choosing the type of vehicle they want to rent and extending the duration of their rental. At the end of the rental period, customers can drop off their vehicles through a simple tap in the Avis app for a seamless rental experience.

The Ford vehicles will provide valuable telemetry data in real-time, including odometer reading, fuel level and vehicle diagnostics, allowing Avis Budget Group fleet managers to process information they need to more quickly prepare vehicles for customers. The connectivity platform is also capable of transmitting other important vehicle data, such as the vehicle's precise location, current speed and even the air pressure in the tires.

To support the connected fleet, Ford Commercial Solutions is providing an embedded telematics solution called Ford Data Services, which offers a simplified and efficient way for Avis Budget Group to connect vehicles, reducing typical downtime and device management efforts currently required.

"With more than 100,000 connected vehicles in our Avis Budget Group fleet and growing, the relationship with Ford Commercial Solutions is a significant milestone in our commitment to achieve a fully connected fleet by 2020," said Arthur Orduña, chief innovation officer, Avis Budget Group. "It allows us to expand our connected ecosystem and work with an organization that 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 Commercial Solutions is using the Transportation Mobility Cloud (TMC) from Autonomic,  a secure open platform for accessing Ford vehicle telematics data.

Ford Motor Company acquired Silicon Valley-based Autonomic In January 2018, with plans to use Autonomic to develop a Transportation Mobility Cloud service that would serve as a standardized communications platform for connecting vehicles.

Through this partnership, Ford Data Services takes advantage of Ford vehicles' built-in connectivity and transfers data directly from vehicles to the secure TMC, without the need for third-party hardware. The data is then easily transferred to Avis' internal IT system or telematics service via the TMC — provided Avis with 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 Lee Jelenic, chief executive officer, Ford Commercial Solutions. "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 North America by the end of 2019."

More than 10,000 Ford vehicles in the Avis Budget Group fleet are expected to be connected by the end of 2018, and more than 35,000 by summer 2019.

Eric Walz
Eric Walz
Originally from New Jersey, Eric is a automotive & technology reporter covering the high-tech industry in Silicon Valley. Eric has over 15 years of automotive experience and a bachelors degree in computer science. These skills, combined with technical writing and news reporting, allows him to fully understand and identify new and innovative technologies in the auto industry and beyond. He has worked at Uber on self-driving cars and as a technical writer, helping people to understand and work with technology. Outside of work, Eric likes to travel to new places, play guitar, and explore the outdoors.
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