Technology is invading new cars like a metastasized cancer, spreading into once analog facets of the automobile—for better and worse. But with that technology comes connectivity to our favorite music, apps, people, restaurants, and, soon, rental car agencies. General Motors and Enterprise Holdings Partners—Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car—singed an agreement where GM will help Enterprise add more than 100,000 connected cars to the rental car company’s fleet over the next 12 months.
The new connected cars will come from every GM brand—Chevrolet, Buick, Cadillac, and GMC. The goal is to expedite rentals for customers while providing access to additional safety features. Features included automating checking fuel levels, vehicle condition, and odometer readings, according to the press release announcing the news.
“Connected vehicles provide customers with a simple, fast rental and return experience,” said Christine Taylor, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Enterprise Holdings. “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.”
Thanks to geofencing and onboard telemetry—location data—allows rental locations to automatically receive important vehicle information when the customer returns the car. As soon as the vehicle enters the geofenced area, the readings could be available. But that’s not all.
Customers will also enjoy access to features such as Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and OnStar, which includes access to emergency services, crisis assistant, automatic crash response, and remote lock/unlock.
“This is our first step toward a fully connected fleet of vehicles,” Taylor added. “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.”
As with most technology, additional services means additional data sharing between the car and the rental company. Connected cars will make renting cars a breeze to the delight of customers.