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Autonomous Vehicles

Published on November 13th, 2017 | by The Beam


Waymo Teams Up With AutoNation To Service Fleet Of Autonomous Vehicles

November 13th, 2017 by  

In another move that hints at how close self-driving cars may be to reality, Google/Alphabet-owned Waymo has announced a deal with AutoNation, the largest auto dealer in the US, to service its fleet of vehicles. The multiyear arrangement means that AutoNation will now be responsible for the maintenance and repair of the increasing number of Waymo’s Chrysler Pacifica hybrid minivans that are on the roads.

John Krafcik, Waymo’s chief executive, alluded to the relationship being another key step on the path from test rides to public adoption. In a statement, he said, “AutoNation will help assure that Waymo vehicles are always in top condition as we bring fully self-driving cars to the public.”

Safety is paramount

Maintenance of the fleet of vehicles is of increasing importance to Waymo. The vehicles undergo thousands of hours of testing and need to be permanently road-ready for this. As the vehicles themselves are destined for public service, then safety is of paramount importance, and any vehicle failures could be catastrophic.

In addition last month’s reveal of how Waymo is aiming to introduce a self-driving ride share service before the end of 2017, this news indicates that the company is inching ever closer to taking things beyond the test phase and into mainstream usage.

It seems like the race to be first to market with a fleet of self-driving vehicles is being lead by Waymo. When you combine this announcement with the news that Alphabet also invested $1 billion in ride-sharing company Lyft, Waymo’s position seems strong.

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The Beam Magazine is a quarterly print publication that takes a modern perspective on the energy transition. From Berlin we report about the people, companies and organizations that shape our sustainable energy future around the world. The team is headed by journalist Anne-Sophie Garrigou and designer Dimitris Gkikas. The Beam works with a network of experts and contributors to cover topics from technology to art, from policy to sustainability, from VCs to cleantech start ups. Our language is energy transition and that's spoken everywhere. The Beam is already being distributed in most countries in Europe, but also in Niger, Kenya, Rwanda, Tanzania, Japan, Chile and the United States. And this is just the beginning. So stay tuned for future development and follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Medium.

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