(NASDAQ:CAR) today announced that it has signed an agreement with Waymo, an Alphabet Inc. company, to offer fleet support and maintenance services for Waymo's self-driving auto program at Avis vehicle Rental and Budget auto Rental locations.
Waymo unveils a self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivan during the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, U.S., January 8, 2017.
Autonomous ride-hailing services are being viewed by auto and tech companies as a potential gold mine in a near future where vehicle ownership is losing its luster.
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Under the multi-year agreement, Avis Budget Group will enhance selected rental facilities to offer automotive services and secure parking for Waymo's fleet. The project has been spun off from Google's self-driving auto project, and Waymo is using a fleet of adapted Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans to flawless its self-driving technology. Area residents who want to use the service, which would operate like a taxi service, can apply to Waymo to become participants.
Waymo will own the autonomous test fleet and will pay Avis to look after the vehicles. The collaboration with Avis will initially support that program.
Avis Budget Group operates 11,000 rental locations around the world. "With thousands of locations around the world, Avis Budget Group can help us bring our technology to more people, in more places". Avis Budget Group also owns the vehicle sharing company Zipcar which rents cars out for short periods of time from parking garages and other locations.
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