Avis Budget Group has partnered with Toyota Connected North America, the global technology strategy business unit for Toyota, in a multi-year partnership that will add 10,000 Toyota vehicles to Avis Car Rental’s expanding fleet of connected cars. Avis Budget Group will use Toyota’s proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to allow greater operational and rental fleet efficiency while creating a more seamless rental experience for customers. 
 
Jeff Kaelin, VP of Product Development for Avis, told Loyalty360 that Avis Budget Group shares Toyota Connected’s vision of providing seamless and valuable customer experiences through enhancements made possible by connected car technology.
 
“Our mission is to use the power of data science to deliver new services to help make life easier and driving safer, more convenient, and fun,” Kaelin explained. “We’re doing this by expanding our focus beyond traditional cars and trucks to create new value and services for our customers. Avis always strives to create a seamless experience for the customer, and this new partnership allows for the brand to enhance the experience through time savings and mobile app integration.”
 
The Toyota vehicles will deliver increased benefits to Avis customers by tapping into Toyota’s proprietary MSPF, a suite of advanced software and connected services that supports mobility businesses. The platform’s telematics data API (application programming interface) will enable customers to receive real-time rental information via the Avis mobile app, which includes virtual odometer readings and fuel levels, and will assist them in locating the vehicle. The connected services provided by the telematics interface will also allow for greater fleet management capabilities, improve informatics, and enable shorter vehicle check-in and check-out processing times.
 
“Connected cars speed up the rental process,” Kaelin said. “They are able to provide their ready-state and service needs so that Avis can address ahead of time, and also provide more accurate fuel levels and mileage. With the Avis mobile app integration, customers can manage their rental experience from their smartphone, choosing the exact car they want, changing of upgrading their vehicle while at or near the lot with a simple swipe. Avis Budget Group has committed to operating a fully connected global fleet by 2020. The data that comes from the entire connected fleet will improve their ability to plan fleet sizing, location and customer preferences.”
 
Kaelin added that the partnership will improve Avis’ fleet management capabilities, which will, in turn, make the customer experience smoother.
 
“Streamlined FMaaS (Fully Managed as a Service) will allow Avis to see cars that need to be serviced more quickly since the car will be able to communicate that through the system, rather than Avis having to go check every individual car on the lot,” Kaelin said. “This, along with integrating the new technology in the mobile app will create a better experience for the customer. Travelers will be able to access important information about their rental, change or upgrade their vehicle, locate their vehicle, and more all from the mobile app.”

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