AutoNation, America’s largest automotive retailer, has partnered with Waymo, the Alphabet self-driving technology company, in a multi-year agreement to support Waymo’s autonomous vehicle program.
According to the agreement, AutoNation will offer strategic capabilities to maximize the life of Waymo’s vehicles across the United States. AutoNation franchised stores, AutoNation USA stores, and other AutoNation locations, will provide long-term vehicle maintenance and repairs for Waymo’s self-driving Chrysler Pacifica hybrid vehicle fleet and will expand with Waymo as they add additional brands, It is known that the company is also in talks with Honda on self-driving cars. Having served over 40 million customers and representing 33 brands, AutoNation is uniquely positioned to work with Waymo as it expands its operations. AutoNation will offer complex mechanical and cosmetic repairs to maintain Waymo’s self-driving fleet.
Waymo had earlier this year had also entered into a partnership with rental car company Avis for maintaining the 600 self-driving Chrysler Pacifica minivans that Waymo will deploy in the Phoenix area. It is known that in Phoenix Waymo is planning to launch its own self-driving taxi service, as per some reports. The company has also got into a partnership with Lyft to rest self-driving cars at the same time its parent company Alphabet led the $1 billion investment round for ridesharing firm Lyft last month. The mentioned steps may be an indication of some major step taken by the company in future for commercialization of its self-driving technology.