Waymo Partners with Walmart, Others for Driverless Rides

Waymo, the autonomous car company and subsidiary of Google-parent Alphabet, has announced that with its latest partnerships with companies like Walmart, AutoNation, and Avis, customers will be given access to use of the company’s self-driving vehicles.

The partnerships will first start with specific Walmart locations in the Phoenix area, offering early riders short, driverless rides to and from stores. The company also struck deals with AutoNation, Avis, DDR Corp., and the Element Hotel in Chandler. Waymo’s statements for each partnership can be found below:

  • Walmart: “Waymo will launch a test pilot that gives early riders savings on groceries each week when they are ordered on Walmart.com. While orders are being prepared at the store, Waymo vehicles will transport the rider to and from Walmart to collect their groceries.”
  • AutoNation: “While customers are having their personal vehicles serviced, AutoNation will now offer them a Waymo, rather than a loaner car, to get around.”
  • Avis: “Avis Budget Group… will soon provide Waymos as a last mile solution for Avis customers in Phoenix to help them pick up or drop off their rental cars.”
  • DDR Corp.: “For those who want to visit Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler, DDR will offer shoppers and diners rides in our self-driving vehicles, letting them avoid the stress of parking lots.”
  • Element Hotel: “Waymo and the Element Hotel in Chandler have teamed up to give select guests access to Waymo vehicles, for example, business travelers who need to commute to and from the office during their frequent stays, giving them a chance to experience fully self-driving technology.”

As of now, the early riders program with Waymo’s partners will take place within Phoenix, with plans to expand into new cities in the near future. The partnerships are a considerable step forward for Waymo as it grows its networks of driverless vehicles around the country.

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