Car rental giant Enterprise Holdings has announced a partnership with General Motors which it says will "significantly increase the number of connected vehicles in its fleet by the end of 2019".

Enterprise says it began piloting its connectivity platform with GM this year, with a goal of adding more than 100,000 connected Chevrolet, Buick, GMC and Cadillac vehicles to its fleet during the next 12 months.

It is claimed the initiative will streamline and enhance the experience for customers of the Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car brands. "This is our first step toward a fully connected fleet of vehicles," said Christine Taylor, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Enterprise Holdings. "We've always understood the value of an integrated network, which has made this an easy decision. We'll continue to adopt technology solutions that make renting cars easier and seamless for our customers."

Enterprise maintains that connected vehicles will expedite the renting and returning of vehicles. For example, they can automate such tasks as checking fuel levels, vehicle condition and odometer readings. Onboard telemetry allows geofenced rental locations to automatically receive these readings when customers return their cars, making the return of the vehicle 'frictionless', it is claimed.

"Connected vehicles provide customers with a simple, fast rental and return experience," added Taylor. "The potential for the products and services we'll be able to offer our customers when all of our vehicles are connected is limitless. As we add these cars to our fleet, we look forward to introducing customers to new technologies and features that not only enhance the driving experience, but also the entire transportation ecosystem."

The vehicles will also come with the latest technology for personalised driving experiences, including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar. Such features as emergency services, crisis assistance, automatic crash response, and remote lock/unlock will also be included to add an additional level of convenience and safety.

"Together, we're offering Enterprise customers the latest benefits of our connected fleet technology from renting the vehicle to enjoying it on the road and, finally, returning the vehicle," said Ed Peper, U.S. Vice President of GM Fleet. "This represents the latest evolution in our more than 60-year partnership with Enterprise."

When Enterprise completes the transition to connected vehicles, it claims it will own the largest fleet of connected vehicles in the world.

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