Avis Budget Group has recently partnered with Ford’s Transportation Mobility Cloud to enable data to flow from vehicles, through Ford’s data systems, and onto Avis’s computers. The result, the car rental company hopes, is an experience that puts more control in the customer’s hands, while at the same time reducing costs and vehicle turnaround times.
Jeff Kaelin, Vice President of Product Development at Avis Budget Group, has been in the vehicle rental business for 29 years. Over his career, core tenants of the industry have changed. “Future mobility will be connected, integrated, and on-demand. Connected cars put us in a strong position to provide those services,” Kaelin envisions.
On the other hand, the fundamental value of the business remains unchanged. Kaelin boils it down to, “We provide solutions to get from Point A to Point B.”
By adding connected functionality to their vehicles and their mobile app, Avis has measured a corresponding 30% increase in their Net Promoter Score. Kaelin hypothesizes why:
As a consumer, I like to have control of the experience. Car rental historically has been controlled by an agent behind a counter, or an agent at a call center if you call in before or during the rental. We’re eliminating friction and empowering the customer with information and the ability to resolve the things they want to get done.”
The data from Avis’s connected Ford vehicles is tracked primarily at car pick-up and drop-off, not during the customer’s rental period. Kaelin states that the rental company is not tracking customers’ movements.