• Avis Budget Group to add 10,000 Toyota connected vehicles

Toyota Connected North America, a global technology strategy business unit for Toyota, has announced a multi-year partnership with Avis Budget Group that will add 10,000 Toyota vehicles to Avis Car Rental's expanding fleet of connected cars.

Avis Budget Group will utilise Toyota's proprietary Mobility Services Platform (MSPF) to enable greater operational and rental fleet efficiency while creating a more seamless rental experience for customers.

"At Toyota Connected North America, we are leveraging the power of data science to develop and deliver new mobility services that create new value for businesses and customers alike," said Zack Hicks, chief executive officer and president, Toyota Connected North America. "Toyota's mobility services platform will provide Avis Budget Group with enhanced connectivity and visibility into their fleet, and bring travellers increased control and convenience over their rental experience."

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 support 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.

Toyota says its MSPF is already being used to support a range of businesses and test programs, including car share programs, use-based car insurance pricing, and fleet management. Servco Pacific Inc., the distributor of Toyota vehicles in Hawaii, is currently using MSPF to launch a new Honolulu-based car share business through an application developed and managed by Toyota Connected that supports driver identification and authentication, plus payment and fleet management.

Getaround, a San Francisco-based, peer-to-peer car-sharing company, is using MSPF and connected car technology to allow drivers to seamlessly and securely rent, locate and drive Toyota vehicles with a Smart Key Box (SKB) that lets users lock and unlock vehicles and start the engine via a smartphone.