Avis teams up with Waymo on self-driving car program


Waymo inked a deal with Avis Budget Group on Monday, wherein the car-rental group will be responsible for supporting, servicing and maintaining Waymo's fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

"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", Krafcik said.

Avis will begin handling the maintenance duties for Waymo's fleet of self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans in the Phoenix, Arizona area later this year, the rental auto agency announced on Monday. Vehicle maintenance will basic services like cleaning, oil changes, tire rotations, and ordering and installing parts.

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Shares of Avis Budget Group briefly surged 20 percent on the news; as of 11 a.m. Earlier this year, Waymo announced a collaborative partnership with ride-hailing service Lyft that generally will focus on autonomous driving research and testing.

"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", said Larry De Shon, president and chief executive officer of Avis Budget Group. Waymo still owns the cars, and it will pay Avis service fees in exchange for its role. They started off as futuristic cartoon-like pods and then became Lexus SUVs before transitioning into their latest iteration-Chrysler minivans-which are now set to be managed by Avis, the same company that rents you nondescript white sedans at the airport. Shares of Avis rival Hertz Global (HTZ - Free Report) were up almost 6%, while fellow self-driving vehicle innovator Tesla (TSLA - Free Report) slumped more than 1.5%.

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. Avis will also be supplying fleet maintenance for Waymo.