Waymo’s latest trial shows how companies can use self-driving cars to improve services

Waymo self-driving car

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Self-driving cars are most commonly linked with the taxi industry but this is just one area where they could potentially operate.

Waymo is now expanding its trial of self-driving cars that’s underway in Phoenix, Arizona to show how other companies can benefit from using self-driving cars.

Waymo, previously the Google Self-Driving Car Project, announced Wednesday it will launch new trials with Walmart, the Element Hotel in Chandler, and DDR Corp., an investor in retail outlets.

Waymo self-driving car

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With Walmart, users already participating in Waymo’s Early Riders trial can save on groceries by shopping on the Walmart website and then have a Waymo self-driving car transport them to and from a Walmart store to collect their goods. And in the future, Walmart staff could potentially load the groceries for delivery so the buyer is able to save additional time.

With the Element Hotel, select guests stating at the hotel will be able to call on a Waymo self-driving car for shuttle services. Waymo suggests this would be ideal for business travelers who need to make frequent trips to a work site during their stay.

And for the trial with DDR, Waymo self-driving cars can be used to transport shoppers and restaurant diners at the company’s Ahwatukee Foothills Towne Center complex in Chandler. It means you won’t need to worry about finding a parking spot, or skipping drinks at dinner because have need to drive home.

View from inside Waymo self-driving car

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Finally, Waymo will also expand an existing trial with AutoNation and Avis Budget Group. AutoNation, which already helps Waymo service and maintain its vehicles in Phoenix, is now making it possible for their customers to ride in Waymo’s self-driving cars while their own cars are being serviced, instead of relying on a loaner vehicle.

And Avis Budget Group, which makes sure Waymo’s vehicles are charged, refueled, and presentable for riders, will also soon provide Waymo self-driving cars 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.

Waymo points out that while these services are limited to Phoenix, the businesses offering them are national and lessons learned will be used to tailor the services for more locations as Waymo’s reach expands.

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