The concept of driverless vehicles seems to be new and it certainly feels novel, it was first thought of in the 1920s with Mercedes Benz actually taking up the project in 1980s. The recent developments have achieved greater recognitions and it entering various industry segments like logistics, aviation and even car rental. With the introduction of the driverless vehicles, it is shall not be about removing the need for people behind the wheel but rather people who shall keep the vehicle up and running in top notch conditions. Witnessing car rental companies entering this new segment, one thing that cannot be shadowed is the need for partnerships and acquisitions to create the best automotive system with billions of dollars on the line. Market Research Reports for Car rental reveals that this industry could grow at an approximate CAGR of 47.8% till 2030, globally.
Car rental industry is just another segment that is on the verge of disruption with the introduction of autonomous or driverless vehicles and hence car rental, rather being turned into dust is willing to adapt to this new phenomenon. Most of the recent developments in this market are focused on developing the technology but car rental companies could have significant role to play as driverless cars move forward. There are endless benefits to this technology. The one very prominent being improvements in prevention of accidents and mishaps associated with car rentals. Foreign tourists, business travelers hire a vehicle straight from the airport. Many who do so are unaware of the travelling conditions like roads, weather or even the driving norms. This makes them susceptible to make mistakes. From driving on the wrong side of highway to crashing vehicles in bad conditions, various cases have been reported and Car rental Industry Research Report suggests that 90% of the car accidents are caused by human error. Driverless vehicles do not require a human behind the wheel and hence mitigates this risk involved with car rental market. Another benefit that the user reaps is he or she shall have the liberty to focus their attention on more important matters rather than worrying about controlling the wheel. From enjoying the scenic beauty that travelers wish to witness or prepare for a meeting that business travelers have come for. Transportation of children, elderly, or the disabled could become easy without having to worry about the person behind the wheel. We could witness a decrease in the green house gas emissions due to regular upkeep and proper driving technique.
US car rental giants have already started to blend with this new technology. Many have started to partner with technology giants and are ready to roll out the driverless car concept in the car rental industry. Two high profile partnerships came into picture. Google’s Waymo entered into partnership with US car rental giant Avis for storing and maintaining autonomous vehicles while Apple’s self driving Lexuses have been linked to Hertz (US). Enterprise holdings, one of the market leaders in car rental market have partnered with a small startup Voyage involving a deal of just 12 cars.
Rental car companies are not known for their innovation but they are certainly poised to deploy this technology and bring a dramatic shift in the car rental market. With each major company partnering with technology giants, they wish to improve efficiency and effectiveness in order to appeal their customers. Driverless cars will happen to car rental without any special investment from companies. It will just be an option when the vehicle is purchased, the same way that GPS is now and ultimately prove to be an inevitable change in the future.
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Ankur Gupta, Head Marketing & Communications