Today, our early rider program is helping us build the world’s most experienced driver and a service that is letting people take a self-driving car to the places they go daily. We’ve been busy teaming up with partners this summer to create new experiences, and provide unique value for our riders. We know from our early riders that most of their rides are to run errands, shop for groceries, commute to work, head to dinner or fix their personal vehicles. We’ve tailored our partnerships to meet the top rider needs; in fact, the partnerships below represent eight of the top ten activities our riders do when they get in a Waymo.
Riders spend a significant portion of time each week running errands and shopping. That’s why we’re launching two pilots with Walmart and DDR Corp., to make shopping more convenient.
Later this week, Walmart and Waymo will launch a test pilot 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, DDR will offer shoppers and diners rides in our self-driving vehicles, letting them avoid the stress of parking lots.
Our self-driving cars will also become an integral 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.
Finally, we are expanding our existing partnerships with AutoNation and Avis Budget Group. AutoNation, who already helps Waymo service and maintain our 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 our 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.
While these are Metro Phoenix-specific partnerships today, these businesses are national and what we learn from these programs will give us a network of partners when we launch in new cities down the road. We’re proud to be a part of Metro Phoenix and are excited to grow and add partnerships that support the cities we operate in, bring unique value to our riders, and give more people access to a safe, self-driving future.