Alphabet partners with Avis to manage self-driving auto fleet

Alphabet partners with Avis to manage self-driving auto fleet

According to Avis, which announced the news today, the rental company will perform other standard maintenance to the self-driving vehicles, including rotating the tires, evaluating and, when necessary, ordering and replacing auto parts, cleaning the inside and outside of the auto, performing oil changes, and other similar things.

In pursuant to the pact, Avis will perform basic services on the vehicles like oil changes, as well as provide secure parking and cleaning.

Shares of rental-car rival Hertz Global Holdings Inc. rose following the news of the Avis-Waymo deal, and got a boost from a report that one of its subsidiaries leased cars to Apple Inc. for autonomous-vehicle testing. So it will look after all of Waymo's maintenance for the Phoenix fleet, save for the autonomy hardware such as computers and sensors. But Waymo CEO John Krafcik did say part of the appeal of working with Avis is the rental company's ownership of Zipcar, the on-demand rental service. "Avis Budget Group is an ideal partner to provide fleet support and maintenance". Even with today's rally, Avis has declined 45 percent during the past three years, partly because of the threat that ride-sharing companies like Uber and Lyft pose to traditional car-rental companies. The maintenance/support offered under this partnership will take place at Avis's various rental locations, enabling Waymo to keep its vehicles maintained and ready for use in many locations.

Shares of Avis Budget jumped more than 9 percent in morning trading.

'This just demonstrates that we can extend our business into fleet-management-as-a-service'.

Shares of Avis Budget stock rallied the most in five years, jumping 21 percent to as high as $29.32 on the New York Stock Exchange. Waymo plans to deploy a bulk of its 600 vehicles from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Phoenix.

The company also manages a huge number of vehicles - an average of 600,00 cars and trucks past year - giving it expertise that Waymo lacks.

The automotive industry seems similar to the Wild West now: Automotive manufacturers, technology companies, parts suppliers, and various other product and service providers are competing to land strategic partnerships as the industry accelerates toward a driverless vehicle future.

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