Avis chooses AWS to drive forward a connected car platform vision

Another example of an ‘industry cloud’, albeit this time with a twist: car hire firm Avis is tapping into Amazon Web Services (AWS) to help with connected car data analysis.

Avis is using AWS Connected Vehicle Solution, the infrastructure behemoth’s product which focuses on transporting vehicle data to Amazon’s cloud securely, with low latency and low overhead.

Options for customers include local computing within vehicles, as well as data processing and storage. The technology can be seen as essentially a three-way process between AWS Greengrass, which takes AWS’ cloud to local devices, S3 storage, and Lambda, AWS’ serverless offering.

Avis has more than 100,000 connected cars in its fleet today and will be uploading data from a variety of vehicle manufacturers for data management and analytics purposes. The company’s goal with the AWS move is to persuade partners on board with the promise of anonymised connected car data which could glean insights around smart city planning, such as road conditions and traffic volume data.

“The platform we built leveraging AWS’s connected vehicle solution gives us advanced data management and scalable analytics capabilities for our connected car platform,” said Arthur Orduna, Avis Budget Group chief innovation officer. “We now have the ability to scale up based on demand and our data is backed by AWS’s software and massive infrastructure, so we have access to new insights-driven tools, storage resources, and first-class security.”

AWS is by no means the only major cloud provider to be exploring this area. One of Microsoft’s more recent pieces of customer braggadocio has been around its work with Volkswagen. The result is the Volkswagen Automotive Cloud, which uses most of the aces in Microsoft’s pack to create a real-time experience, from Azure IoT, to PowerBI and Skype. Similarly, BMW is tapping Microsoft’s AI services to build an intelligent agent in its cars.

The ‘automotive cloud’ concept is a particularly interesting one – vehicle manufacturers are feeling increasingly comfortable partnering with tech companies and playing to each other’s strengths. The continued partnerships pursued by Intel and its subsidiary Mobileye are bearing fruit; BMW was an early adopter, with Fiat Chrysler getting on board later. Last week, it was announced that Volkswagen – albeit not an official member of the group – would launch a ‘mobility as a service’ self-driving taxi operation in Israel next year.

Avis and AWS’ partnership dates back to last year when the former helped provide a skill for Amazon Alexa.

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