The connected car has the potential to revolutionise the car rental industry, according to Avis Car Rental UK’s latest report.
Millions of connected cars (vehicles that offer internet connectivity along with a local WLAN network) are already on the road and the numbers are growing rapidly.
Annual sales of connected car technologies are predicted to triple to €122.6 billion (£105.4 billion) by 2021, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, which helped develop the report, along with Volvo Cars, Vodafone and the BVRLA.
The report, The Evolution of the Connected Car, demonstrates the level of technology involved in connected cars by revealing an F-35 fighter jet has around eight million lines of computer code, while a connected car has 100 million.
It is predicted that one in five passenger vehicles will be connected by 2019, demonstrating that this rapidly-evolving technology is prompting new questions, posing new challenges and providing new opportunities.
The report suggest that connected cars could make car rental “more efficient” and “more enjoyable”, allowing people to see what car has been assigned to them and giving them the option to change the booking with a “simple tap of an app”. Drivers will be able to open the car using their smartphone and the paperwork will have been taken care of as part of the sign up process of the app.
When the car is returned it will automatically tell the rental company the final mileage and fuel reading, and the customer will be able to end the rental agreement on their phone.
This scenario is “not something way off in the future”, according to Nina Bell, managing director for the Northern EMEA Region at Avis.
“It is being trialled in the United Kingdom today and is enabled by connected car technology,” she said.
She added: “Connected car technology has the potential to change not only the car rental experience but the entire automotive industry, as well as business models within other sectors. This report explores this evolution and what it means for us all.”