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28 June 2017

Waymo Enlists Avis to Maintain Self-Driving Cars

Fleet grows to 600 minivans

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Waymo’s autonomous vehicles can drive themselves, but they can’t change their own oil or rotate their own tires. To keep its driverless fleet in tip-top shape, Waymo has partnered with Avis Budget Group.

Avis will perform typical services, from fillups and charge-ups to oil changes and brake installations, on Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica Hybrid minivans that are now roaming around Phoenix, Ariz. The partnership will leverage Avis’ experience managing large-scale fleets, while Waymo will continue to look after the autonomous parts of the vehicles.

Earlier this year, Waymo released self-driving cars to the public around the Phoenix area. As part of an “early rider” program, residents can receive free rides in self-driving cars in exchange for providing their feedback on the experience. The goal of the program is to give a select group of participants access to self-driving cars on an everyday basis.

Waymo, which spun off from Google, has logged millions of autonomous miles on public roads. Its fleet has grown to 600 Pacifica plug-in hybrids equipped with sensors, radar, and LiDAR for autonomous driving.

Waymo is seeking multiple partnerships to accelerate the deployment of driverless cars. Not only did it strike a deal with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to obtain the Pacificas, but it recently linked up with Lyft and has been in talks with Honda.

Source: Waymo via Medium

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