“Many drivers experience new automotive technologies for the first time in rental vehicles ... I have no doubt that the U.S. car rental industry will be an early adopter and will be able to help introduce autonomous driving technology to millions of consumers – just as we have done with anti-lock braking, stop-start technology, hybrid electric vehicles and all of the other new technologies.”  

Susan Lombardo, Senior Vice President of Vehicle Acquisition – Enterprise Holdings, 2016 Women's Industry Network Educational Conference

Mobility and Autonomous Technology

In thousands of communities of all sizes, Enterprise Holdings' highly accessible network provides hourly, daily and weekly car rentals as cost-effective and consumer-friendly modes of local transportation.

As a result, Enterprise Holdings sponsored a special 2017 report titled “Driving Forward: The Future of Urban Mobility,” published by the Wharton Initiative for Global Environmental Leadership (IGEL). Enterprise was a natural sponsor for the report, since it not only operates the largest fleet in the world but also has more than 6,400 neighborhood and airport rental locations located within 15 miles of 90 percent of the U.S. population.

In fact, Enterprise Rent-A-Car, National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car customers are logging more than 25 billion miles throughout the world every year. And many of those miles are driven locally in their very own communities and mostly in late-model, fuel-efficient vehicles – making local car rental one of the most effective and sustainable mobility options today.

For example, thousands of Enterprise customers rent vehicles regularly, although they rely on mass transit during the week in large urban markets, or simply cannot afford to purchase or maintain a vehicle on their own. Many consumers, businesses and government agencies in the United States, Canada and the UK also rely on their local Enterprise network to deliver car-sharing technology’s speed and flexibility when it makes sense.

In addition, Enterprise Rideshare and vRide vanpooling programs address local as well as national needs by reducing traffic congestion, parking requirements and carbon emissions, while providing commuters with a smarter, better way to get to work. Enterprise Rideshare – the fourth largest U.S. public transit provider in passenger miles today – also helps control annual transportation expenses by using volunteer drivers, which is much more cost-efficient than hiring paid drivers (such as ride-hailing companies).

Self-Driving Cars

“Autonomous vehicles will still need to be managed – fleeted, de-fleeted, maintained and moved – and car rental companies are poised to do that, as they already run the largest fleets in U.S. and even the world .... The footprint of the industry stretches from coast to coast and includes both airport and what we call the home-city market. The fact is, the autonomous vehicle model most likely will be well suited for a pay-as-you-go system, especially on the local level. And this plays into car rental's strengths of customer interface and management for the long term.”

Chris Brown, Executive Editor – Auto Rental News, April 2016

Enterprise Holdings' fleet of “virtual cars” is well-positioned to quickly and efficiently introduce millions of consumers to new fuel and vehicle technology, especially as transportation infrastructure and alternatives, including autonomous vehicles, evolve in the future.

As a result, in late 2016, Enterprise Holdings submitted comments on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Automated Vehicles Policy. Among other things, Enterprise Holdings urged NHTSA to recognize the rental industry and fleet management operators as key stakeholders in the development of state and federal policies. 

As TheInformation.com news site reported in early 2017: “Enterprise, a 60-year-old company that owns and rents more cars in the U.S. than anyone else, is gaining newfound attention in Silicon Valley and Detroit, judging by conversations with tech executives lately. The reason is simple: Enterprise is one of the few companies that can manage large fleets of cars at scale. That’s a skill likely to be in demand as more companies launch ride-sharing services using self-driving cars.”

Strategic Mobility Partners

“Consider that we essentially ‘share’ more than a million vehicles a week in the United States. So when you talk about scale and the ability to meet public transportation needs for the long term, fleet size obviously is a significant factor from an operational and financial perspective.”

Greg Stubblefield, Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer – Enterprise Holdings, 2015 GBTA Convention

Enterprise Holdings always looks for strategic partnerships with public-policy leaders and key organizations who share our interest in advancing sustainable mobility and in broadening discussions about the automotive value chain.

For instance, Enterprise Holdings partners with the Corporate Eco Forum, the Department of Energy’s Clean Cities initiative, the National League of Cities' Sustainable Cities Institute and the Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) – as well as travel organizations like the Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) and World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) – to help incorporate sustainability goals into comprehensive, long-term local transportation planning.  

Other examples include:

2011

The National Summit on Energy Security, which brought together CEOs, military leaders and policymakers in 2011 to address the intensifying threats posed by our nation’s dependence on petroleum.

2012

The Danforth Plant Science Center hosted a panel discussion featuring General Motors and Enterprise Holdings in 2012 that focused on the future of the passenger vehicle – from biofuel research to public policy issues.

2014

Enterprise Holdings participated in a 2014 SXSW Eco panel discussion on the role that public and private transportation providers play in meeting demands for sustainable mobility in urban markets. This conversation – which included Susan Shaheen, a researcher from the University of California-Berkeley Transportation Sustainability Research Center, plus a peer-to-peer car sharing advocate and a well-known automotive reporter – focused on how to best provide access to more local, sustainable transportation options.

2015

At the 2015 Sustainability Speaker Series at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Enterprise Holdings shared how it is implementing corporate sustainability into the Enterprise Rent-A-Car brand and throughout its fleet.

Later that same year, at the International Car Rental Show, Enterprise Holdings participated in a panel discussion, “The Convergence of Car Sharing and Car Rental,” which highlighted the industry’s important role in the evolution of urban mobility.

We also participated in another 2015 panel discussion during the Disrupting Mobility Summit, stressing how consumer needs are changing and the importance of enhancing access to transportation options in local communities.

2016

Enterprise Holdings submitted comments on the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration's (NHTSA) Federal Automated Vehicles Policy.  

2017

Enterprise participated in a panel discussion – “Navigating Risk throughout the Mobility Ecosystem” – at the 2017 CES (Consumer Electronics Show) and helped address how autonomous technology, cyber threats and other risks and liabilities may impact emerging mobility opportunities.

Enterprise sponsored a panel discussion, “Preparing for Autonomous Vehicles on Our Roads,” an event that was part of Infrastructure Week 2017 in Washington, D.C. and jointly hosted by the National League of Cities and the National Association of Regional Councils. 

Enterprise also moderated a panel discussion about “The Changing World of Transit Benefits” at the Association for Commuter Transportation’s (ACT) Public Policy Summit in Washington, D.C. The session explored the potential impact of tax reform on commuter benefit programs, plus common-sense efforts to further expand transit benefits at the grassroots level. 

2018

More recently, the Canadian Standing Senate Committee on Transport and Communications published a report – “Driving Change: Technology and the Future of the Automated Vehicle” – at the request of the Minister of Transport. More than 78 witnesses, including Enterprise, provided testimony as the Committee focused on regulatory and technical issues related to the deployment of automated and connected vehicles. The report featured 16 specific recommendations, including “monitoring the impact of automated and connected vehicle technology on competition between the various sectors of the automotive and mobility industries, in order to ensure that sectors such as the aftermarket and car rental companies continue to have access to the data they need to offer their services.”

A copy of our sustainable mobility and autonomous technology highlights is also available here.

 

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