Avis has launched its first-ever “Mobility Lab” that serves as a test bed for fully connected vehicles and operations in the greater Kansas City, Missouri area. The Mobility Lab comprises more than 20 Avis Car Rental locations, including Kansas City International Airport and Nebraska’s Eppley Airfield and Lincoln Airport, and features a fleet of 5,000 connected cars.
This connectivity allows for seamless communication with the Company’s fleet management platform and the Avis mobile app. The Mobility Lab also positions the Company to collaborate with municipalities around the globe as they move forward with Smart City initiatives.
The initiative underscores company’s commitment to drive innovation to enhance the customer experience across their entire journey. Avis customers renting from airport and off-airport locations in the Kansas City area can control the entire rental experience right from their smart phones. This includes making, changing or managing their reservation, extending their rental and locking and unlocking the car’s doors.
Leveraging connected car capabilities, the Mobility Lab will deliver operational efficiencies by providing real-time inventory counts, mileage management and automated maintenance notification. This data will facilitate the enhancement and optimization of the Company’s fleet management capabilities and provide scalable benefits as the Company increases its number of connected cars moving forward.
From a city perspective, connected fleet data can add depth and accuracy to street condition data and traffic volume data. “Kansas City has a fully integrated suite of smart city initiatives in our community that make it a better place for our citizens and visitors. Partnering with Avis Budget Group allows us to make that experience even more efficient and responsive to the needs of 21st Century Kansas Citians and our visitors,” said Mayor Sly James.
In May, Avis Budget Group announced a transformation of its U.S. fleet which would result in 50,000 more vehicles becoming fully connected cars by early 2018; bringing the total number of connected cars to more than 100,000. The Company has also committed to operating a fully connected global fleet by 2020.