Waymo strikes deal for Avis to manage autonomous cars fleet

By Callum Rivett
Waymo, part of the Alphabet divisionfor self-driving cars, has struck a deal with Avis which will see the car hire firm manage an autonomous fleet in Ph...

Waymo, part of the Alphabet division for self-driving cars, has struck a deal with Avis which will see the car hire firm manage an autonomous fleet in Pheonix, Arizona. 

As a result, share prices in Avis soared, jumping up 21% to $29. The deal will see Avis service and store Waymo's Chrysler Pacific minivans, whilst Waymo will own the vehicles and pay Avis for their services.

This is the first deal of its kind in the autonomous car industry but is unlikely to be the last - with giants such as Apple, Uber and Tesla all competing to deliver the best self-driving cars, it is an industry that is bound to thrive.

Meanwhile, Waymo is still embroiled in a legal case against Uber, with the latter accused of stealing trade secrets when former Google engineer Anthony Levandowski allegedly took 14,000 confidential documents with him when he quit and started up his own self-driving truck firm, Otto.

Uber then acquired Otto for $680m in August 2016 and put Levandowski in charge of their robotic cars division, before Waymo claimed that Levandowski had used the documents to accelerate Uber's self-driving program.

In May 2017, it was announced that the case is going to trial after judge William Alsup ruled that Uber could not force it into private arbitration. 

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