Avis is looking to smarten up its rental fleet with help from Toyota's big-data startup, Toyota Connected which will provide 10,000 connected cars.
Renting a car is not usually that pleasant of a process. It takes way longer than you'd like, the company rarely has the car you reserved, and nothing ever seems to go smoothly. Avis is wanting to streamline its rental process significantly and eliminate most of these frustrations by transitioning to a fully connected fleet by 2020.
In addition to providing the aforementioned 10,000 vehicles, Toyota will use the data it collects to dramatically improve fleet management, ensuring that each location has the cars it needs most when it needs them, reducing the need to substitutions and trades. It will also work toward fully automating the check-in and check-out processes.
"Toyota's mobility services platform will provide Avis Budget Group with enhanced connectivity and visibility into their fleet, and bring travelers increased control and convenience over their rental experience," Zack Hicks, CEO of Toyota Connected North America, said in a statement.
Avis needs all the help it can get, according to rankings by Time's Money blog which place Avis at the bottom of a list of 11 major car rental companies. The low score was down mostly to Avis' high prices, it was the most expensive of all the companies on the list, but hopefully, Toyota's improved fleet management solutions can help drive costs down.
"As connected car technology continues to evolve in the auto industry, we are rapidly adapting our fleet and rolling this technology out to our locations," said Arthur Orduña, executive vice president and chief innovation officer for Avis Budget Group. "These advancements further improve our fleet management capabilities, which enables us to provide Fleet Management as a Service, while also enhancing the customer experience with time savings and mobile app integration. We're a step closer to a fully connected fleet and ultimately moving towards a new future for our business."
Avis stated that it expects the new Toyota Connected vehicles to begin entering its fleet toward the end of 2019.