Avis Budget Group is eyeing up a major slice of the potential $750bn (£618bn) market for vehicle tracking data by signing a deal to turn the information it collects through its car rental fleet into hard cash.
The market started with the launch telematics and has been boosted by the fact that new cars are already fitted with hundreds – if not thousands – of sensors connected to the Internet. As far back as 2016, consulting firm McKinsey predicted that the vehicle data sector will grow exponentially over the next decade, and will be worth up $750bn by 2030.
This growth will be driven by tech companies, start-ups, alternative mobility operators, data management services, insurers, roadside assistance providers, and infrastructure operators.
For instance, the insurance industry wants to know exactly what drivers are up to, including how fast they are going, how hard they are hitting the brakes and other factors, such as how often they rattle through the gears, which also affect performance.
However, other industries will also benefit; for instance retailers will be able to see what routes people are taking so they can decide where to set up new stores, while the outdoor advertising sector could use the information to boost targeting for data-driven campaigns.
Avis, which owns the Avis, Budget and Zipcar brands, is linking its global fleet of more than 100,000 Internet-connected vehicles to the cloud-based marketplace run by Tel Aviv-based Otonomo.
Under the deal, Avis can sell data collected from its cars to the more than 100 companies connected to Otonomo’s platform.
Avis’ chief innovation officer Arthur Orduna said: “Optimised data at this level has real potential to change what the future of mobility looks like, and it will open the door for sharing the data with new partners.”
Avis is no stranger to tech. Last year it signed a deal to use the Amazon Web Services cloud platform and its Connected Vehicle Solution to create a data analysis system. The scheme integrates machine learning, artificial intelligence and data management to track inventory, mileage of vehicles and maintenance.
This means the business knows the condition of each vehicle in its fleet at any given time and staff can make sure there can be more cars on the roads rather than in the garage.
The connected vehicle data market is likely to accelerate with the rise of self-driving cars, with brands from Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and BMW to Apple, Uber and Addison Lee racing to develop the technology.
Otonomo’s rivals include British firm Wejo, backed by General Motors, which tracks 7 million vehicles in 190 countries worldwide and it recently acquired a Silicon Valley based technology firm Carjojo as part of its expansion plans.
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