Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Verizon IoT service to make enterprise vehicle usage more efficient

Iain Morris
September 10, 2014

US telecoms giant Verizon says its new Auto Share service allowing customers to rent and return vehicles using car-sharing apps will become available by the end of the year.

Auto Share will be aimed at helping businesses in numerous industry sectors to use transportation services more efficiently.

Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) has also revealed plans to make Auto Share available to the public sector, including municipal authorities, to streamline rideshare and van pooling programs.

“With urban populations projected to represent seven out of 10 people by 2050, industry experts note that car usership and peer-to-peer sharing via a mobile application is increasingly replacing car ownership as a core part of the connected lifestyle – particularly among young people,” said Mark Bartolomeo, head of Internet of Things and connected solutions at Verizon. “Its promise of personal convenience, social improvement and cost savings is hard for businesses to ignore.”

Bartolomeo says Auto Share will help reduce traffic congestion and emissions while opening up parking spaces and enhancing transportation options.

“Additionally, the solution will allow a wide range of fleet managers to create new experiences for their customers by increasing operational efficiencies and generating new revenue streams,” he added.

A consumer version of the Auto Share service will work by allowing customers to scan QR-codes on a vehicle’s windshield using their smartphone devices.

A key fob will then appear on the app allowing drivers to unlock and start vehicles.

Drivers will also be able to receive promotional offers such as in-car Wi-Fi and refill purchase options.

The enterprise version will also store data that drivers share with rental car companies in Verizon’s Enterprise Cloud.

Speaking on the day of the Auto Share announcement at the Telit DevCon show in Las Vegas, Ross Caplan, associate director for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, said Verizon’s M2M business has been benefiting from AT&T’s (Dallas, TX, USA) announcement of plans to entirely shut down its 2G network by 2017.

The majority of M2M customers still rely on 2G services and Verizon does not plan to shut down its own 2G infrastructure until next decade.

Nevertheless, the operator is focused on driving down the price of LTE connectivity for M2M services, and Caplan says that prices are already approaching those on its much older CDMA2000 1X network.
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