Avis teams up with Waymo on self-driving car program

Posted June 27, 2017

Waymo is accepting applications for riders at waymo.com/apply.

Shares of 3D-printing companies have been under pressure for a couple of years as growth in the highly competitive market has failed to meet expectations.

The companies didn't disclose financial terms of the deal or specify its length. It's the first such deal in a field that's still fledgling but exploding with partnerships.

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De Shon said Avis will retrofit select facilities in the Phoenix area to accommodate Waymo's minivans, including adding tailored tents to protect them from rain, and doesn't plan to buy additional real estate.

Avis Budget Group operates 11,000 rental locations around the world. The new deal is limited to Waymo's vehicles in Phoenix, where it started its first pilot service in April after almost a decade of research. The fleet will contain about 600 Chrysler Pacifica minivans, according to Reuters. Keeping up with maintenance will be a full-time job in itself, thus Waymo is smart to outsource that part of its fleet support. The original 100 Chrysler vehicles are being tested in Phoenix, Ariz; Mountain View, Calif.; Austin, Texas; and Kirkland, Wash.

Waymo is rolling out a service in Phoenix, Arizona, that will allow people to ride in its self-driving vehicles with a professional driver in the driver's seat to monitor the vehicle and ensure safety.

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"Partnerships can come together very, very quickly when both parties have something to gain", Krafcik said.

Shares in traditional rental auto companies such as Avis and Hertz Global Holdings Inc have taken a beating as more travelers use ride services such as Lyft and Uber Technologies Inc The Waymo-Avis deal points to a potential future for rental auto companies as managers for fleets of shared and autonomous vehicles require their services changing tires, cleaning interiors, and securing vehicles when they are not in operation. Waymo now handles maintenance on its own. That might work well for Waymo, though, by providing the right kind of network to hire out its autonomous vehicles in the future.

The Avis partnership shows how Alphabet is building out an ecosystem for its autonomous business.

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In May, Waymo announced its is parting with ride-hailing company Lyft to develop self-driving cars.