Avis Budget Group has extended a partnership with Continental to equip 50,000 of the rental firm’s vehicles across Europe and the US with the technology company’s enhanced ‘Key as a Service’ (KaaS) solution.

Continentals KaaS technology enables two-way communication between a vehicle and Avis Budget Group’s cloud-based system and mobile app. The group’s fleet of connected cars – 25,000 of which will be located in Europe – allow customers to manage their entire rental experience through the recently updated Avis app.

In addition, Continental’s aftermarket solution eliminates the need for physical keys, enabling customers to use the Avis mobile app to unlock the car and start the engine.

Until now, the KaaS solution for keyless entry and ignition was only available at the Avis Budget Group Mobility Lab in Kansas City, which serves as a test bed for fully connected vehicles and operations.

Mark Servodidio, international president at Avis Budget Group, said: “Continental’s technology combined with the new, self-serve capabilities of the Avis mobile app in Europe is another example of how we are reinventing rental by making the overall customer journey more convenient, transparent, personalised and seamless. We’re excited to build upon our successful Key as a Service pilot in the US, and provide our European customers with mobility on demand where and when they need it. Now, we’re another step closer to our goal of a fully connected fleet by the end of 2020.”

Helmut Matschi, a member of Continental’s executive board, commented: “Avis Budget Group is showcasing the power of the Internet of Things by connecting cars to the cloud and consumer apps. Our KaaS solution highlights Continental’s ability to quickly iterate a new product for shared mobility that is keyless, connected and secure. We are excited to enable new use cases for Avis that will provide their customers with a magical experience.”

avisbudgetgroup.com; continental-automotive.com

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