While fleets of self-driving cars promise to relieve many of the daily stresses of driving, certain chores may still be unavoidable, such as cleaning your self-driving car or ensuring it’s properly maintained.
But a new partnership between Waymo and Avis Budget Group suggests that even this may not be an issue for too long. This week, the firms announced an agreement that will see the latter provide fleet support and maintenance services for Waymo’s self-driving car programme.
The support for Waymo’s self-driving vehicles – currently being used in a public trial in Phoenix, Arizona – will take place at the group’s Avis Car Rental and Budget Car Rental locations.
The multi-year partnership is designed to make sure that as Waymo’s fleet grows – the company is planning to build a 600-strong fleet with the addition of hundreds of Chrysler Pacifica minivans – its self-driving vehicles will be ready for riders around the clock.
“With members of the public using our growing fleet of self-driving cars, our vehicles need standard maintenance and cleaning so they’re ready for our riders at any time of the day or night,” said John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive officer.
“Avis Budget Group is an ideal partner to provide fleet support and maintenance. With thousands of locations around the world, Avis Budget Group can help us bring our technology to more people, in more places.”
The group will provide support and secure parking facilities for Waymo’s fleet at a number of its rental facilities. Its maintenance services will include interior and exterior cleaning, oil changes and tyre rotations, and it will also be able to check, order and install any necessary parts.
Larry De Shon, president and chief executive officer of Avis Budget Group, said: “We are excited to partner with Waymo, the self-driving technology leader that is changing the mobility landscape in a profoundly transformative and beneficial manner.
“Not only does this partnership enable us to leverage our current capabilities and assets, but it also allows us to accelerate our knowledge and hands-on experience in an emerging area as Waymo-enabled self-driving cars become available in the marketplace.”