More details on the Avis-Waymo partnership

The partnership, first reported by Bloomberg, will last several years but will be non-exclusive.

Alphabet's driverless-car unit Waymo is ramping up a program it launched in April in Phoenix to eventually give hundreds of selected residents there free rides in its self-driving cars.

Avis also owns the on-demand auto rental service Zipcar, which it acquired because Zipcar was seen as a disruptive force at a time when autonomous cars still looked a little further off.

The companies didn't disclose financial terms of the deal or specify its length. Down the road, Waymo potentially could draw from the Avis Group's existing network of facilities and customers. But if nobody owns the cars that drive us all around, who's going to service them? Access to those locations means, down the road, Waymo could have access to a lot of places to keep self-driving cars when they are not on the road, without having to build its own locations. (NASDAQ:CAR) to provide self-driving cars. Waymo also has 70 Lexus vehicles. "One of the wonderful things about partnerships like this is that they are open", he said. Still, the deal highlights the way that rental companies, with their nationwide scale and experience maintaining vehicle fleets, could become key players in the spread of self-driving technology.

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The relationship between the companies provides insight on an emerging ecosystem for self-driving cars.

"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.

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

Avis Budget Group, Inc.is a leading global provider of mobility solutions, both through its Avis and Budget brands, which have more than 11,000 rental locations in approximately 180 countries around the world, and through its Zipcar brand, which is the world's leading vehicle sharing network, with more than one million members. Avis will handle cleaning, oil changes, tire rotations and other vehicle services but will not be responsible for upkeep on Waymo's specialized hardware, such as its lidar sensors.

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