Apple working with Hertz for self-driving cars, report says
Apple working with Hertz for self-driving cars, report says
A visitor walks about Toyota Motor Corps.'s hybrid Lexus RX450h on display at the Tokyo Motor Show 2009 , The Canadian Press
01 July, 2017, 22:14
The deal between Avis and Waymo will see the rental car giant joining former Google Inc. self-driving car unit's efforts to deliver a fleet of self-driving vehicles by offering fleet support and maintenance services for Waymo's self-driving car program at car rental locations.
Avis also owns the car-sharing company Zipcar. While Waymo already has a well-developed self-driving system that it will be integrating into Chrysler Pacifica minivans that it will rent from Avis, Apple is renting Lexus SUVs to do what Waymo did five years ago before it created the dome-shaped self-driving Google Cars. He reined in the project's ambitions, cutting some staff and concentrating on developing an autonomous driving system, rather than building a whole vehicle. The agreement gives Waymo another partner with the essential components it will need for its platform as it matures: access to the existing infrastructure that supports the auto industry. The deal is said to be created to support Waymo's growing autonomous vehicle fleet and its early rider program, a free on-demand auto program Waymo launched in Phoenix, Arizona, in April.
News reports say Apple will work with Hertz, based in Estero, Florida, on a small group of self-driving vehicles.
"A person familiar with Apple's project" told Bloomberg that six vehicles have been testing Apple's self-driving auto tech on public roads in and around the San Francisco Bay area for at least a year.
Avis' stock climbed 14% Monday and in pre-market trading Tuesday had added 1.2%. Hertz's shares are still down 52 percent and Avis' shares have lost 27 percent this year, for precisely the possibility that rental-car companies could suffer in an age of self-driving cars, not to mention surging ride-hailing companies such as Uber Technologies Inc. and Lyft Inc.
They may be testing the vehicles with public volunteers. The rental-car companies introduce a new intermediary between the companies building the autonomous systems and the riders of the fleets of autonomous cars that will eventually take over the roads. Hertz shares soared the most in nearly two years.
The autonomous vehicles testing regulations were adopted on May 19, 2014 and became effective on September 16, 2014.
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