Waymo, an autonomous car development company and subsidiary of Alphabet Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG), is forming a partnership with some of the country’s largest companies to expand access of its self-driving vehicles. The partnership includes five companies, Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), AutoNation, Inc. (NYSE:AN), Avis Budget Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: CAR), DDR Corp. (NYSE: DDR), and Element Hotel. The partnership is part of Waymo’s plan to expand its early rider program and offer self-driving cars to run errands and shop. For now, the service is only offered in the Metro Phoenix, AZ area.
“Riders spend a significant portion of time each week running errands and shopping. That’s why we’re launching two pilots with Walmart and DDR Corp., to make shopping more convenient,” said the Company.
Waymo and Walmart will also be launching a test pilot that grant early riders savings on groceries each week when they are ordered on the Walmart.com website. While the customers’ orders are being prepared, Waymo vehicles will pick the rider up.
Customers that wish to visit the Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler will be provided with an autonomous Waymo vehicle to transport them, relieving the stress of finding parking spots.
The Element Hotel in Chandler has also teamed up with Waymo to provide select guests access to self-driving vehicles.
AutoNation and Avis are expanding their existing partnership with Waymo. AutoNation will be providing customers who are having their vehicles serviced with rides to the store rather than given a loaner car. For Avis, customers will be given a ride to help pick up and drop off their rental cars at two participating locations.