Avis Budget Group, Inc. and Continental announced that they have expanded their partnership. Under the enhanced collaboration, AvisBudget Group will boost its fleet of connected cars in Europe and in the United States by equipping 50,000 vehicles with Continental’s enhanced Key as a Service (KaaS) technology—25, 000 of which will be in Europe.”

Continental’s enhanced KaaS solution allows for two-way data communication between a vehicle and Avis Budget Group’s cloud-based system and its Avis mobile app, which effectively “connects” the car. Connected vehicles empower Avis customers to manage their entire rental experience through the recently updated Avis mobile app. In addition, Continental’s aftermarket solution eliminates the need for physical car keys and enables customers to use the Avis mobile app to unlock the car and start the engine. Until now, the KaaS solution only allowed for keyless entry and ignition and was only available in the Avis Budget Group “Mobility Lab” in Kansas City, USA which serves as a test bed for fully connected vehicles and operations.

Mark Servodidio, President, International, 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 United States, 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 fullyconnected fleet by the end of 2020.”

“Avis Budget Group is showcasing the power of the Internet of Things by connecting cars to the cloud and consumer apps,” said Helmut Matschi, member of the executive board, at Continental. “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.”

Continental’s aftermarket KaaS technology offers scalability across car manufacturers, vehicle models and regions and quicker time to market with no circuitry changes or modifications in the vehicle architecture. It includes services and hardware.

Avis Budget Group and Continental will showcase the offering during the Consumer Electronics Show in the North Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center on January 8-11, 2019.