Waymo, the self-driving car unit of Alphabet, has formed partnerships with several national companies including Walmart in the Phoenix area.
Later this week, Walmart and Waymo will launch a test pilot in Phoenix 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.
For those who want to visit Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center in Chandler, a suburb of Phoenix, shopping center investor DDR will offer shoppers and diners rides in Waymo self-driving vehicles, letting them avoid the stress of parking lots.
The company is also expanding existing partnerships with AutoNation and Avis Budget Group. AutoNation, who already helps Waymo service and maintain its vehicles in Phoenix, is now making it possible for their customers to ride with Waymo technology; while customers are having their personal vehicles serviced, AutoNation will now offer them a Waymo, rather than a loaner car, to get around. Avis Budget Group, who makes sure that Waymo vehicles are charged, refueled, and presentable for riders, will also soon provide Waymos as a last mile solution for Avis customers in Phoenix to help them pick up or drop off their rental cars, beginning with their two Chandler locations. Avis and AutoNation are ideal partners, providing different and complementary support and maintenance services to our growing fleet of self-driving cars in Phoenix over the past year and ensuring they are always ready to pick up a rider.
Waymo self-driving cars will also become part of the VIP experience for visitors in Phoenix. 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.