What is a connected car? It is a vehicle that offers internet connectivity along with a local WLAN network. So a vehicle that can connect to the WiFi and allow your other devices connect to WiFi. Millions of cars on the road are already connected and their numbers are growing astronomically. Annual sales of connected car technologies are predicted to triple to $130 billion USD by 2021. It is predicted that one in five passenger vehicles will be connected 2019. The revolution of the connected car is very similar to smart phones. Phones went from LAN lines to mobile to internet connectivity and then to smart phones. Connected cars will be able to emerge from that path and become a completely different entity from 20 years ago. The benefits are numerous. Autonomous driving will require a connected vehicle. Even if your car is not autonomous, a connected car will help with GPS and give you up to the minute report on traffic conditions. Infotainment devices will be connected and provide a range of support and entertainment on long road trips.
For the car rental industry the gains will be massive. If a connected vehicle gets into an accident, they can respond immediately. Or if a connected vehicle is getting abused - off-roading, crossing boundaries, excessive speeding, the company could be notified and could cut their losses. The endless customer experiences they can offer would be beneficial. Paperwork can be processed by an app, when the car is returned, it will tell the company the final mileage and fuel reading. Making the entire process seamless and fast. Connected car technology has the potential to change not only the car rental industry but the entire automotive industry. They could impact other business models within other sectors.