Tags: waymo | avis | deal | driverless cars

Waymo, Avis Reach Deal to Manage Driverless Cars

Image: Waymo, Avis Reach Deal to Manage Driverless Cars

John Krafcik, CEO of Waymo speaks at a press conference at the 2017 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, on Jan. 8, 2017. (Geoff Robins/AFP/Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 09:52 AM

Waymo driverless cars will be serviced and stored by the Avis Budget Group Inc. under an agreement with its parent company Alphabet Inc.

The contract solved a need for Alphabet, the parent of Google, to maintain and house its driverless fleet, The Wall Street Journal reported. Avis will act as a depot for Waymo, where the driverless vehicles will be serviced and dispatched.

Avis also owns the popular car-sharing service Zipcar. The rental car company saw its shares jump 14 percent Monday as the Alphabet deal appeared to give it a leg up on other car companies looking to break into the field of managing driverless car fleets, The Wall Street Journal noted.

Avis's move comes as Bloomberg reported that Apple is leasing a small number of it Lexus RX450h sport utility vehicles from Hertz's Donlen fleet management unit, based on documents from the California Department of Motor Vehicles.

Bloomberg reported earlier that six vehicles have been testing Apple's driverless technology on public roads in the San Francisco area for about a year. Wired magazine writer Alex Davies noted that legacy rental car companies appear to be carving out a niche in a new world of driverless and shared cars.

"Like the bureaucrats who know how to keep the state running, companies like Avis and Hertz possess expertise that remains useful (and difficult to generate from scratch) in this new state of affairs," Davies wrote for Wired.

"The day is coming when you won't actually drive, and you may not even rent cars if companies like Lyft and Uber have their way. But everything that makes the rental business work — the infrastructure and logistics technology that keeps tabs on all those cars, and knows when they need service or cleaning — applies to robocars, too," Davies continued.

The Wall Street Journal reported that the Ford Motor Co. said last fall that it is looking to manage driverless-car fleets. The newspaper said Waymo has 100 Chrysler Pacifica self-driving minivans and has ordered another 500 of the vans from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.

Waymo equips the vehicles with computers and sensors to make them self-driving.

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Waymo driverless cars will be serviced and stored by the Avis Budget Group Inc. under an agreement with its parent company Alphabet Inc.
waymo, avis, deal, driverless cars
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2017-52-27
Tuesday, 27 Jun 2017 09:52 AM
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