Apple and Hertz Partner for Self-Driving Car Testing
Apple’s self-driving car ambitions are coming into focus.
The technology giant is partnering with Hertz to test its autonomous car software in six of the car rental company’s automobiles, according to a Bloomberg News report published Monday based on Department of Motor Vehicles documents.
Under the partnership, Hertz subsidiary Donlen is leasing to Apple six Lexus RX RX450h sports utility vehicles to carry out its self-driving car tests, the report said. Presumably, this partnership is a way for Hertz to test-self-driving vehicle technology rather than letting its customers actually rent self-driving cars at this point in time.
Apple has embedded its self-driving car software into six vehicles that it has been testing and driving for the past year throughout the San Francisco Bay Area, the report said, although it did not reveal if those six vehicles were part of licensing agreement between Apple and Hertz.
The news between Apple and Hertz follows a similar deal announced Monday between the self-driving car unit of Google parent Alphabet and rental car company Avis Budget Group. In that deal, Avis said it would manage Waymo’s autonomous car fleet in Phoenix and provide storage and maintenance services.
Waymo and Avis did not disclose financial terms of the deal that, according to a separate Bloomberg News report, has Waymo paying Avis for its services, while owning the vehicles.
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