Avis Rent a Car continues to innovate globally in the car rental space, with a recent integration into the voice-activated Amazon Alexa platform, allowing customers to book and manage reservations using Amazon Echo devices.
Avis is the first car rental company in the world to offer this innovation and paves the way for easy, intuitive travel arrangements in the era of the virtual personal assistant.
The offering was demonstrated at the recent Global Business Travel Association's (GBTA) Convention in Boston, USA, and is already available to the public in North America.
As it rolls out worldwide, Avis customers with Amazon Echo and Echo Dot devices will be able to make car rental reservations, review current or past reservations and request e-receipts for rentals through their virtual assistants.
“This is part of how Avis ensures we are always ahead of the innovation curve,” said Lance Smith, Executive: Sales at Avis southern Africa. “Amazon Echo devices and apps are not yet officially available in South Africa, but the minute they are, customers will be able to make their reservations using the Alexa platform.”
When it becomes available, the new interface will give travellers instant, voice-controlled access to the car rental booking process with such commands as, "I need a car at Cape Town Airport at 9:00 a.m. this Friday."
The voice platform then manages the booking process through secure integration with Avis using travellers’ preferences stored in their Avis profile. These include car preference and additional options such as GPS devices.
Technology research company Gartner Inc. predicts that by 2018, 30% of consumer interactions with technology will be through voice assistance platforms. The Avis integration with Amazon Alexa underscores the brand's commitment to driving and building a superior reservation and rental experience for its customers.