Economy

Google And AutoNation Partner On Self-Driving Car Program

Google And AutoNation Partner On Self-Driving Car Program”

The multi-year service agreement starts with AutoNation supporting Waymo's autonomous vehicle programs in Phoenix and Northern California and will expand to markets across the U.S. With its expertise in detailing, repairs and maintenance, AutoNation's role is to keep the cars on the road for longer.

Under the deal, AutoNation will initially work with Waymo's autonomous vehicle program in the Phoenix and northern California markets.

No financial terms were disclosed.

AutoNation is the latest of several companies to team up with Waymo before its Chief Executive Officer John Krafcik has announced plans to offer a transportation-for-fee service. In most cases, driverless vehicles in such fleets will have to be on the road nearly around the clock to offset the cost of the sensors, computer chips, software and other systems that allow them to drive safely and reach their destinations without human operators, he said. The dealership chain, he said, has maintained more than 40 million vehicles.

Waymo has been partnering with a number of auto-related companies such as Fiat Chrysler, car-rental company Avis and ride-hailing company Lyft.

Since Google first began pursuing self-driving vehicle technology in 2009, a wave of major players have joined the chase. General Motors and Ford, along with big technology companies including Apple and ride-hailing giant Uber, are developing their own technology. The trial is set to begin this year.

AutoNation, of Fort Lauderdale, Fla., ranks No. 1 on Automotive News' list of the top 150 dealership groups based in the US, with retail sales of 337,622 new vehicles in 2016.



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