Call it “Mobility Monday.”
In one of three big moves in the auto innovation space, a partnership announced Monday morning between Lyft and CDK Global will make it easier for dealers to set up Lyft rides for their service customers.
And the move is the Lyft application programming interface's first time being integrated directly into a dealership management system.
In their announcement, the companies said the solution integrates the Lyft Concierge ride-dispatching platform with the CDK dealer management system.
This is done through the Fortellis Automotive Commerce Exchange platform, giving service departments a way to set up Lyft rides straight from their service applications.
Granted, “hundreds” of dealers are already booking Lyft rides for customers via Concierge, the companies said. But never before has the Lyft API been integrated directly into a dealership management system.
“By leveraging our Lyft Concierge solution, dealerships can reduce customer wait times and liability insurance costs while increasing repair order throughput and improving general customer satisfaction,” said Ben Sternsmith, area vice president at Lyft Business, in a news release. “We are pleased to integrate Lyft Concierge directly into the dealership’s software through the Fortellis platform, which will improve both dealership efficiencies and the customer experience.”
The integration through Fortellis will also help dealers cut transportation costs from shuttles and rentals. Additional, it trims insurance costs, Lyft providing each passenger with up to $1 million in liability insurance.
The integration saves time for both customers and dealership staff, and can lead to a better experience for the customer.
The companies also note that the solution can drive additional revenues, with more service throughput and repair orders, given the fact there are more customer transport options available.
The solution being integrated into the workflow also can boost productivity at the service department. Similar, when it is time to get reimbursed by the OEMs for warranty work, the process of doing so can quicker.
CDK Global announced the launch of the Fortellis Automotive Commerce Exchange platform in March, describing the new platform as a technology engine and “plug-and-play platform”that works to allow developers, OEMs and dealers to securely integrate solutions and workflows to ramp up sales, operational efficiency and profitability.
Through the new platform, CDK Global shared in March that:
- Software developers can offer customers new solutions in a secure e-commerce environment.
- And dealers can find new solutions and connect them with others to develop unique and custom experiences that provide new efficiencies.
“This is an excellent example of the value of the Fortellis platform – to bring companies together to quickly create a better customer experience and positively impact dealers’ bottom lines,” CDK chief executive Brian MacDonald said in Monday’s news release.
“As the exclusive rideshare provider on the CDK DMS, the integration of Lyft Concierge services has the potential to be available to the 8,000 dealerships served by CDK across the United States, enabling dealers to seamlessly offer their customers an easy and cost-effective alternative to traditional temporary vehicle solutions,” he said.
“We are excited to partner with Lyft to privately publish its Concierge API on the Fortellis platform, an open, secure and accessible global network, for CDK to consume its service applications.”
This was one of a few mobility-related news items on Monday.
Cox Automotive said it is bringing together its investments and solutions supporting the future of mobility with the formation of a new business division: Mobility Solutions Group.
The new business division, which is focused in part on mobility-as-a-service, will house these solutions and investments, as well as newly-acquired Clutch Technologies, a technology platform powering subscription access for the automotive industry.
Meanwhile, Avis Budget Group announced Monday that it now has more than 100,000 connected cars in its global fleet.
Along with the Avis mobile app, having more connected cars in the fleet gives more customers the ability to make real-time changes or upgrades on the Avis Buget lot and locate their ride. Down the road, there is likely to be the ability to personalize geolocation travel and tourism push notifications.
“Connected cars allow Avis customers to manage their entire rental through our app, including locking and unlocking car doors via smartphone. We see a future in which connected cars will know preferred seat position, car temperature, radio presets and more,” Avis Budget chief innovation officer Arthur Orduña said in a news release.
“An example of this is in our Mobility Lab in Kansas City, which aims to enhance travelers’ experiences through our connected cars. If a traveler’s phone shows they are interested in baseball, the customer may receive a push notification recommending the city’s acclaimed Negro Leagues Baseball Museum.”
And going back to Lyft, Avis Budget announced last week it would be providing Lyft drivers on-demand access to Avis vehicles through a partnership announced between the companies.
The rental company is adding thousands of Avis vehicles to the Lyft Express Drive program throughout North America. With this Avis partnership, Lyft drivers can reserve rentals from Avis from the Lyft app.
Editor's Note: Sarah Rubenoff and Nick Zulovich contributed to this story.