Avis Budget Group to support Waymo’s self-driving car program


As the reality of widespread autonomous vehicle (AV) deployments gets closer, the Avis Budget Group has signed an agreement with Waymo to offer fleet support and maintenance services for its self-driving car program at Avis and Budget car rental locations.

Waymo is an Alphabet Inc company and formerly Google’s self-driving technology division. The collaboration is designed to support the company’ growing AV fleet and early rider program, a public trial of its self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona.

Waymo recently announced that it is adding hundreds of Chrysler Pacifica minivans to build a 600-vehicle fleet. This partnership will allow the Avis Budget Group to service Waymo’s growing number of cars on the road, ensuring its self-driving vehicles are ready for riders around the clock.

Through its two brands, the Avis Budget Group operates more than 11,000 rental locations in approximately 180 countries around the world. The Group operates most of its car rental offices in North America, Europe and Australia directly, and operates primarily through licensees in other parts of the world. Under the multi-year agreement, Avis Budget will enhance selected rental facilities to offer automotive services and secure parking for Waymo’s fleet. The services offered by Avis Budget will include interior and exterior cleaning, oil changes, tire rotations, and the checking, ordering and installation of automotive parts, as well as other necessary fleet support and maintenance.

“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,” explained 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.”

President and chief executive officer of the Avis Budget Group, Larry De Shon, commented, “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.”

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Tom has edited Traffic Technology International (TTi) magazine and its Traffic Technology Today website since May 2014. During his time at the title, he has interviewed some of the top transportation chiefs at public agencies around the world as well as CEOs of leading multinationals and ground-breaking start-ups. Tom's earlier career saw him working on some the UK's leading consumer magazine titles. He has a law degree from the London School of Economics (LSE).