Avis and Ford team up to connect cars, enhance rental experience

(October 24, 2018) PARSIPPANY, N.J. — To make renting vehicles even easier for customers and to improve efficiency, Avis Budget Group has announced an agreement with Ford Commercial Solutions to connect more than 35,000 Ford Motor Company vehicles in Avis Budget Group’s U.S. fleet.

Connected vehicles allow Avis customers 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. Even returning a rental vehicle is automated with connected technology, allowing customers to drop off their vehicles through a simple tap in the Avis app.

Additionally, these connected Ford vehicles will provide valuable telemetry data in real time, including odometer, fuel level and vehicle condition updates, allowing Avis Budget Group fleet managers to process information they need to more quickly prepare vehicles for customers.

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. 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.

“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, an open platform that securely manages information flow to and from vehicles’ embedded modems. Through this partnership, Ford Data Services takes advantage of Ford vehicles’ built-in connectivity and transfers data directly from vehicles to the TMC without the need for additional third-party hardware, management or installation downtime.

The data is then easily relayed to the fleet owner’s internal IT system or telematics service via the TMC — giving businesses 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.”

A business unit of Ford Smart Mobility LLC, Ford Commercial Solutions has one goal — to help fleets improve their operational effectiveness by offering OEM-grade data verified by Ford engineers, such as fuel use and vehicle health alerts.